History of Art


Past Imperfect: Technological Imaginaries

13 November 2023, 5:00 pm–7:00 pm


Technological Imaginaries: Medieval Artists, Manuscripts, and War with Dr. Lauren Rozenberg and Dr. Jess Bailey.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Queenie Lee – History of Art


IAS Forum, Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)
South Wing
Wilkins Building

The parchment pages of late medieval books enclose images of fascinating technological developments, some of which existed while others were imagined. In this event, the two speakers explore representations of military technology in the European late Middle Ages. 
Lauren Rozenberg examines the 1335 engineering treatise written by physician Guido da Vigevano for a crusade. Guido invents portable siege machines that seem to have never been built.
Jess Bailey, in her paper 'Illuminating Gunpowder', delves into early representations of cannons and gunpowder artillery. Her paper considers questions of masculinity and historiographies of nationalism.
The event will consist of two papers followed by an open discussion and Q&A.

About the Speakers

Dr Jess Bailey

Associate Lecturer in the History of Art at UCL

Dr. Jess Bailey (she/her) is an Associate Lecturer in the History of Art at UCL working with Medieval and Early Modern European art and material culture. She also teaches classes on theory and methodology.

Bailey's research engages disability and gender studies to consider how art historians write about the human figure. Working across mediums from drawings to textiles, Bailey studies the ways artists grappled with interpersonal and state violence. Her published work addresses 16th century works on paper about military sex workers and the role 19th century collecting played in disability art history. Bailey's current book project combines these interests in the body, gender, and imperialism to write an art history of Western gun violence before modernity.

More about Dr Jess Bailey

Lauren Rozenberg

Lauren completed her PhD at UCL and her thesis focused on phantasms in late medieval manuscript culture, concentrating on the relationship between visible objects, mental images, and embodiment while also drawing on medical understandings of bodies and devotional practices.

Her PhD was funded by the the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) and UCL History of Art Department and supervised by Professor Robert Mills.

More about Lauren Rozenberg