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CFP: Literary Texts as Objects

Call for Papers for Panel Sponsored by the American Society of Papyrologists and the SCS Committee on Publications and Research

“Literary Texts As Objects”

Organized by Colin Whiting (Dumbarton Oaks) and Giovanni Ruffini (Fairfield University)

The last decade or so has seen an extraordinary wave of sensational papyrological discoveries that have then gone on to prompt serious scholarly and ethical questions. Legal cases involving companies and organizations, investigations by government agencies and journalists, and more have only heightened the scholarly—and public—interest in the contents of these ancient written records, their provenance, and their publication. We are seeking papers that examine these papyri and other literary objects not for their contents but as objects in and of themselves. Panelists might choose to situate these objects within the history of the illicit forgery, theft, and looting of antiquities, seeing them as either modern examples of longstanding concerns in classical scholarship or as reflections of new problems particular to the 21st century. Papers might also explore the dynamics between the desire to publish new texts and the ethical dilemmas inherent in rushing to do so. Rather than simply just recounting recent events, we are hoping that panelists will place objects like these, and their associated scandals, in a scholarly context, or will recommend concrete guidelines for future practices in scholarship.

Please send abstracts that follow the guidelines for individual abstracts (see the SCS Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts) by email to Colin Whiting (Dumbarton Oaks) at or Giovanni Ruffini (Fairfield University) at by February 1, 2021. Ensure that the abstracts are anonymous. The organizers will review all submissions anonymously, and their decision will be communicated to the authors of abstracts by March 31, 2021, with enough time that those whose abstracts are not chosen can participate in the individual abstract submission process for the upcoming SCS meeting.

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