The Materiality of Text - placement, perception, presence.
24th-26th September 2012,
Calman Learning Centre, Durham University.
Organizers: Dr Edmund Thomas, Dr Andrej Petrovic, Dr Ivana Petrovic.
In recent years, the study of ancient texts has gained from a focus on the physicality of text. Epigraphists are interested more than ever in issues of context, reading and performance. Furthermore, studies of architecture have fed on literary approaches to take account of displays of writing and their implications.
The project 'The Materiality of Text' brings together these cross-disciplinary approaches to focus on material aspects of the written word.
Scholars from a range of disciplines, including philology, epigraphy, ancient history,archaeology and art history, will join us in discussing the physical aspects of inscribed texts in the Greek and Roman world, in Greek, Latin and other scripts, and their relation to literature, art, cultural history, and aesthetics.
Papers will address both theoretical approaches and individual case-studies, with the special emphasis on: the visualization of text in a physical context, monumental or miniature; the relationship of inscriptions to their support, including steles and statue bases; the appearance of inscribed text in buildings and their impact on the perception of architectural space; the form and varieties of lettering, the aesthetics of writing, and its implications for the reading of a text; issues of visibility and legibility; the role of inscribed dedications or commemorative texts in the perception of buildings sacred or secular; the placement and arrangement of inscriptions in public, religious or private space; the aesthetics of particular genres of text such as building contracts, epigrams and sacred laws; specific techniques in the display of prose and verse texts, ritual or magical use and performative aspects of inscribed texts; re-dedication and re-use of inscribed texts; and the use and contribution of specialized media of support from monumental bronze letters to miniature gold plaques and precious metals.
Keynote speakers: Professor Joseph W. Day (Wabash College), Professor em. John Mitchell (University of East Anglia), Professor Joannis Mylonopoulos (Columbia University), Professor em. Peter J. Rhodes (Durham University).