The International Conference on „Material Aspects of Reading,“ as proposed by the University of Heidelberg’s Collaborative Research Centre 933, deals with an aspect of the fields of Jewish and Biblical Studies that has been under-represented for altogether too long: the material circumstances related to the act of reading, as well as other practices of reception and perception of the written word. Since the practice of reading cannot be separated from its material preconditions, a variety of questions can be addressed:
- How do aspects of the material on which something is written influence the act of reading and vice versa?
- How do the practices pertaining to texts in certain social settings relate to those texts’ materiality?
- What kind of conclusions can be drawn from the material circumstances (e.g. mise en page or mise en texte) regarding the manner of reading and its social context?
- How do materiality, orality and – if applicable – mnemonic devices affect one another?
- What can be said about the material presence of writings and their secondary uses (magical implications, e.g. amulets, Mezuzot, Tefillin)?
- In which way can reading practices from earlier periods be reconstructed on the basis of later manuscripts?
- What observations about the material aspects of reading can be made with respect to the differentiation between codex and scroll?
- What should be the methodological criteria and fundamental questions of a material approach to the reception history?
Taking its starting point from this area of problems, the conference will investigate the „Material Aspects of Reading,“ with a main focus on Mediterranean Antiquity from the Second Temple Period to Early Islamic and Karaite times.
The conference will be held in English. All lectures will be written in advance and distributed among the participants. All papers will be published shortly after the meeting. Young and Early career researchers from the fields of Archeology, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Studies, Religious Studies, History, Classics, Egyptology, and Papyrology are invited by this CfP to present their projects.
Material Aspects of Reading in Ancient and Medieval Cultures. Materiality, Presence, and Performance (hg. v.. A. Krauß/J. Leipziger/F. Schücking-Jungblut; Materiale Textkulturen 26; Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020) [im Satz].
Table of Content
Anna Krauß, Jonas Leipziger, Friederike Schücking-Jungblut
Material Aspects of Reading and Material Text Cultures. An Introduction
Material Aspects of Rituals Beyond Their Instructions
Lindsey A. Askin
Scribal Production and Literacy at Qumran. Considerations of Page Layout and Style
Scribal Habits and Scholarly Texts. Codicology at Oxyrhynchus and Qumran
Mika S. Pajunen
Reading Psalm and Prayer Manuscripts from Qumran
Reading the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice. Observations on Material, Layout, and Text
Yehudah B. Cohn
Reading Material Features of Qumran Tefillin and Mezuzot
Reading an Opisthograph at Qumran
Codices des Typs C und die Anfänge des Blätterns
Ancient Jewish Greek Practices of Reading and Their Material Aspects
Reading Early New Testament Manuscripts. Scriptio continua, “Reading Aids”, and other Characteristic Features
What Ancient Christian Manuscripts Reveal About Reading (and About Non-Reading)
Reading Regularly. The Liturgical Reading of Torah in its Late Antique Material World
Binyamin Y. Goldstein
Encountering the Grotesque. The Material Scribal Culture of Late Medieval Jewish Magic