Call for papers – Papyri Conference 7-8 December 2023

Perceptions of Writing in Papyri. Crossing Close and Distant Readings

Online Conference 7-8 December 2023, organized by Claire Clivaz (DH+, SIB, Lausanne) and Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello (Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Basel)

Call for Papers – until 30th April 2023

Argument: This online conference will analyze how digital culture has changed the perceptions of writing styles in papyri. Studies conducted by modern scholars have always been the main way of evaluating papyri, determining their dates and content. From the beginning of the century, the clearly subjective nature of this research has been highlighted by scholars such as Kim Haines-Eitzen in Guardians of Letters (2000) and Brent Nongbri in God’s Library (2018).

We will evaluate the current ways scholars view the aesthetics of papyri in a world where close and distant readings are intersecting more every day. A large part of ancient scholarship successfully used the traditional close read, whereas today, a small group of newer scholars have integrated computer analysis into their research. The following questions will be addressed: To what extent is computer analysis of quantitative data bringing objectivity into the study of writing styles in papyri? What are the potential limits or biases of computer analysis? Does this confirm insights from the past, or to the contrary, does this change our evaluation of dates, content, and genre implications within papyri studies? We will review these questions considering the various fields currently working with papyri in different languages. Papers of the conference will be proposed to the OJS journal Pylon. Editions and Studies of Ancient Texts.

Please submit paper proposals of ca. 300 words by the 30th of April 2023 to and

Confirmed Guests Speakers (alphabetical order):

  • Garrick Allen and Kelsie Rodenbiker, University of Glasgow
  • Roxanne Bélanger Sarrazin, University of Oslo
  • Claire Clivaz, DH+, SIB, Lausanne
  • Jean-Luc Fournet, Collège de France, Paris
  • Pedro Garcia-Baro and Olga Serbaeva Saraogi, Universities of Zurich and Basel
  • Nesina Grütter, University of Fribourg
  • Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello, University of Basel
  • Pasquale Orsini, Ministry of Culture, Central Institute for Archives, Rome
  • Mladen Popovic, University of Groningen
  • Dominique Stutzmann, IRHT, Paris and Humboldt-Universität, Berlin
  • Marja Vierros, University of Helsinki

Claire Clivaz

Claire Clivaz is Head of Digital Humanities+ at SIB, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne (CH). She is leading projects in DH and New Testament. This blog presents the activities of the group DH+.

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