Detail of document burning from the Trajanic Anaglyph

Detail of document burning from the Trajanic Anaglyph

CAll For PROPOSALS:

Materia III @ISAW

Friday, April 5, 2019

 

Proposals due December 20, 2019

MATERIA: New Approaches to Material Text in the Roman World is a series of workshops presenting new research on books and other media in antiquity, bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines—history, literature, epigraphy, papyrology, archeology, manuscript studies, etc.. The first two MATERIA meetings, held in 2016 (Columbia University) and 2017 (MIT), pursued a more traditional focus on the book and the literary in order to advance a broader understanding of the history of the book in the Roman world.

With MATERIA III, hosted by NYU’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, we hope to extend this discussion further. We invite proposals for papers that consider material text in Greco-Roman antiquity and other ancient civilizations between 500 BCE and 500 CE in terms of, but also beyond, the category of “the book.”

What objects would ancient readers and users of text have encountered that looked like books, but weren’t?  What practices did ancients engage in at the periphery of “books”? What media did they use that partook of similar (or different) affordances? Speakers will draw from evidence across the methodological spectrum of ancient studies and related fields to explore the wider world of literate activity, not by way of “literacy” or “the literary,” but by way of practice, technology, and ideology. We are equally interested in new readings of well-known evidence and discussions of evidence that has been neglected, as well as papers that engage in comparative studies of similar practices or problems between different periods or cultures.

Our hope is to foster discussion between scholars who work on disparate aspects of ancient material text, reading and writing, in different cultural traditions and who are interested in sharing their expertise with others who approach the topic from different perspectives.  We invite abstracts of no more than 500 words for papers of 30-40 minutes. Abstracts should be submitted to materiaconference@gmail.com by Dec. 20.

Organizers:

Stephanie Ann Frampton (Associate Professor of Literature, MIT)

Joseph A. Howley (Associate Professor of Classics, Columbia University)

David M. Ratzan (Head, ISAW Library)