Shana Worthen

History of Medieval and Early Modern Technology


University of Toronto, Toronto. Canada
Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. June 2006.
Thesis Topic: "The Memory of Medieval Inventions, 1200-1600: Windmills, Spectacles, Mechanical Clocks, and Sandglasses. "
M.A. in History and Philosophy of Science and Technology. 2000.
Thesis: "Hugh of St. Victor, the Mechanical Arts, and the Heurematologic Tradition."

University of York, York. UK
M.A. in Medieval Studies. 1999.
Thesis: "The Role of Meteorological Phenomena in Yorkshire Monastic Chronicles."

Smith College, Northampton, MA. USA.
B.A. with Honors in Medieval Studies.1997
Major: Medieval Studies (Italian). Minor: Computer Science (language and theory).
Honors Thesis: "The virtue of Magnanimity as an ideal for leaders in central Italian city-states in the fourteenth century."


"Eyeglasses and Sunglasses"; "Windmills"; "Time, measurement of".
Forthcoming in the Discovery and Invention Encyclopedia. (M.E. Sharpe). (Website)

"Smoked and Mirrored in the Foods of Fantasyland". Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2010

"Historical Recipes". Annotated. Viewpoint: The Newletter of the British Society for the History of Science. Spring 2011.

"Early Medieval European Agriculture"; "Early Medieval European Industrial Technology"; "Early Medieval Christian Historical Thought". In the World History Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO, 2011).

"The Influence of Lynn White, Jr.'s Medieval Technology and Social Change". History Compass.(June, 2009).

"Structuring the Mechanical Arts"
AVISTA Forum Journal Vol. 18.1/2(Fall, 2008): 118-119.

"The Invention of Agriculture."
AVISTA Forum Journal (Fall, 2007): 54-55.

"On Mills and Meaning" in Wind & Water in the Middle Ages: Fluid Technologies from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Steven A. Walton, ed. Penn State Medieval Series, 18. (Tempe, AZ: ACMRS, 2006).

"Technology in Middle Earth" in J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia. Michael Drout, ed. (Taylor & Francis, 2006).

"Medieval Approaches to the History of Metalwork."
AVISTA Forum Journal (Fall, 2005): 75-6.

"Craftsmen and their Spectacles in the Later Middle Ages."
AVISTA Forum Journal. Vol. 14.1. (Fall, 2004). pp. 38-9.

"The Late Medieval Consequences of the Apparent Atemporality of Hourglasses."
AVISTA Forum Journal. Vol. 13.2. (Fall, 2003).

Book Reviews

"Review: Ferguson - Pythagoras: His Lives and the Legacy of a Rational Universe."
Classical Association Newsletter (Late 2010).

"Review: Hannam - God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science"
Viewpoint: Newsletter of the British Society for the History of Science. No. 91. (February, 2010): 11-12.

"Review: Engammare - L'ordre du temps"
Isis. (Sept, 2008): 611-12.

"Review: Glick, Livesey, and Wallis - Medieval Science, Technology, and Medicine: An Encyclopedia"
Annals of Science. Vol. 64. No. 2. (April, 2007): 284-6.

"Review: Frugoni - Books, Banks, Buttons and other Inventions from the Middle Ages"
The Medieval Review (15 Feb 2006).

Teaching Experience Highlights

Lecturer, HIS 4301 "History of Technology", HIS 1311 "World Civilization I", and HIS 3313 "Renaissance History". Taught online using WebCT and Blackboard. University of Arkansas at Little Rock. (2007-Present).

Part-time Lecturer, "Media Histories", "Interpreting Media", "Introduction to Research Methods", "Approaching Culture". Canterbury Christ Church University. (2009-2010)

Lecturer, PPR1112 "Key Skills." A research skills and essay writing class. Middlesex University. (Fall, 2006).

Instructor, HPS 201 "The Origins of Western Technology." University of Toronto. (Fall, 2003).

Plus a variety of teaching assistantships.

Invited Talks

"Visualising Time in the Middle Ages."
Presented for Eastercon LX 2009, the British National Science Fiction Convention. Sponsored by the British Science Fiction Association (BSFA). Inaugural lecture for the new BSFA academic lecture series. (13 April 2009).
Bradford. UK.

"Dials and Deities: the Faces of Time in the Renaissance."
Presented for the Centre for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine Departmental Seminar. (26 January 2006)
Imperial College. London. UK.

"The Early Uses and Meanings of Eyeglasses."
Presented for the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Colloquium Series. (3 March 2004).
University of Toronto. Toronto, Canada.

Recent Conference Papers

"The Mechanical Arts and Le P¸lerinage de Charlemagne"
Presented for AVISTA at the International Medieval Congress. (July 2011).
University of Leeds, Leeds. UK.

"Bespectacled, Curly-Haired, and Opinionated: Technology and Symbolism in Matham's Tabula Cebetis (1592)"
Presented at On Pre-modern Technology and War, a conference in honor of the retirement of Bert S. Hall. (November 2010).
University of Toronto, Toronto. Canada.

"Like Sugar and Stirrups: Polydore Vergil and the Problem of Unknown Inventors"
Presented for the British Society for the History of Science. (July 2010).
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen. UK.

"Smoked and Mirrored in the Foods of Fantasyland"
Presented for the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery. (July 2010).
St. Catherine's College, Oxford. UK.

"Stew in Context"
Presented for the Diana Wynne Jones Conference. (July, 2009).
University of the West of England, Bristol. UK.

"Organizing the Mechanical Arts"
Presented for the Three Societies Conference (British Society for the History of Science, Canadian Society for the History and Philosophy of Science, and the History of Science Society) (July, 2008)
Keble College, Oxford. UK.

"An Urban Spectacle: The Craft of Theater in Medieval Histories of Invention"
Presented for the International Medieval Congress (July, 2007).
Leeds. UK.

"The Invention of Agriculture."
Presented for AVISTA at the Medieval Studies Congress (May, 2007).
Kalamazoo, MI. USA.

Other Presentations

"The Technology of Tolkien's Middle Earth."
Interview for Discovery Channel Canada. (First aired 17 December 2001).

"Isis Inventrix: An Egyptian Deity in the Middle Ages."
Presented to the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology Student Association. (9 March, 2001).

Academic Service

Vice-President. Member, Board of Directors, AVISTA. (July, 2005-Present). (AVISTA)

Secretary. SHMTS. (Jan, 2010-Present. (SHMTS))