Sunday, November 06, 2011

Erasure History Conference

Tony Burke has already mentioned this, over on Apocryphicity, but there is a conference later this week (11-12 November) on Erasure History: Approaching the Missing Sources of Antiquity in Toronto.  Here is the blurb:
From Antiquity to the early middle ages, lost texts may outnumber survivors. The reconstructive efforts of historiography in general and textual editing in particular must grapple with the way in which the poverty of preservation conditions scholarly efforts. "Erasure History" names the effort to think through significant historical problems as if a crucial surviving source were instead among the lost. This endeavour of programmatically holding data in abeyance is meant to illuminate the conditions under which we actually labour and to facilitate fresh consideration of, and renewed humility before, the generative problems of Western historical scholarship. 
The purpose of the Erasure History Workshop is to bring together students and scholars from disciplines that study the ancient Mediterranean world historically to participate in a thought experiment with methodological significance. The workshop's participants will consider the status of "the archive" of Mediterranean Antiquity by abstaining from an important source in analysis of a literary/historical problem.
Several prominent scholars from North American Universities have been invited to think and write provisionally in contradiction to their specialized knowledge of a key topic in their field. The goal of the exercise is to understand better the problems under investigation by understanding better the status of the archive that is the basis for their analysis. The Erasure History Workshop will form the 47th instance of the Conference on Editorial Problems held annually at the University of Toronto.
I will be speaking on "A World without Mark" and John Kloppenborg will be responding. More details, full program and registration details here.


Jeremy Wales said...

Haven't historical Jesus scholars been performing a similar thought experiment for some time now? "A World without John"!

More seriously, the conference sounds fascinating. Any chance you could share the thrust of your paper here, perhaps after the conference?

Mark Goodacre said...

Haha. Well, my own scholarship is also a kind of erasure history, robbing the world of Q.

I'd be happy to share my paper here in due course, perhaps after the conference.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy's comment made my day. said...

But you will still be left with the problem of what do you do about those 'lost' texts. Are they texts that are referred to? Are documents like Q to be included? said...

As you know, I believe the New Testament was developed from earlier texts.