Lecture to explore relationship between physiology and eloquence

In 1575, the Spanish physician Juan Huarte recorded an encounter with a “rude countrie fellow who made very eloquent discourse” after becoming frantic. According to Huarte, this oratory sprang directly from the man’s fevered state.

In a free public lecture Wednesday, English professor Stephen Pender takes seriously Huarte’s assertion — eloquence is a matter of heat rather than cognition, imagination or memory — and explores an ensemble of neglected ideas in early modern medicine and rhetoric.

Pender is a fellow of the Centre for Research in Reasoning, Argumentation, & Rhetoric, which presents his lecture, entitled “Heat and Moisture, Rhetoric and Spiritus,” at 4 p.m. in room 352, Dillon Hall.