Fresco from the "House of Menander" in Pompeii

Fresco from the "House of Menander" in Pompeii

New Approaches to Material Text in the Roman World


MATERIA: New Approaches to Material Text in the Roman World is a day-long workshop presenting new research in the area of the ancient book in the Roman World, broadly concieved. This event brings together six speakers from across the country who work on different aspects of the intersection of classical text and material culture to present work in progress. Each speaker will have a significant block of time to present his/her findings, with ample time for questions and feedback from the audience and fellow panelists. Audience members are encouraged to come for length of the day, throughout which refreshments will be provided.

This event is organized by Prof. Stephanie Frampton (MIT) and Prof. Joseph Howley (Classics) and is made possible by the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at Rare Book School and Columbia University’s Lenfest Junior Faculty Development Fund.


Wednesday, June 15 2015—Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Butler Library, Columbia University

3:00-5:00 | Practical session (optional) - Meet the organizers and speakers and see classical items from Columbia's collection (attendance limited)

Thursday, June 16 2016—Butler Library rm 523, Columbia University

8:15-8:45 | Coffee

8:45-9:00 | Welcome - Joseph Howley (Columbia)

9:00-10:15 | Session 1 - Stephanie Frampton (MIT), "Classics and the Study of the Book" 

10:15-11:30 | Session 2 -  Francesca Martelli (UCLA), "Enclosing Cicero's ad Familiares: Reframing Space in the Letter-book"

11:30-11:45 | Coffee

11:45-1:00 | Session 3 - Ben Harnett (New York Times), “The Birth of the Codex, Revisited”

1:00-2:00 | Lunch

2:00-3:15 |  Session 4 - John Schafer (Northwestern), “Authorial Pagination in Latin Poetry”  

3:15-3:45 | Coffee

3:45-5:00 | Session 5 - David Ratzan (ISAW), “Power, Form, and Genre and the Acta Alexandrinorum”

5:00-6:30 | A Response to Materia - Joseph Farrell (Penn)

Registration information

There is no fee to attend the MATERIA conference, but we do ask that you register in advance so that we can estimate catering and room capacity.  Please visit our Eventbrite page to register by June 1.  There, you can indicate whether you plan to attend the whole day or part of the day, and whether you wish to attend the practical session on Wednesday afternoon.


For questions or more information, contact Joseph Howley.