Top: Funerary Stele of Sin zir Ibni, Tel Afis (Neirab), Syria, ca. 7th century B.C.E. Louvre Museum. Image: Wikimedia Commons.
About the Conference
Cross-culturally, spaces of the dead have been productive places for considering the inherent difficulty of transmitting traditions and texts. This nexus between text, tradition, and death is seen across a range of genres including law, treaties, and wisdom sayings. Within these and other genres, the efficacious and correct reception of texts and traditions as lived by actual individuals is paramount. "Inscribing Death" brings together faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students to explore the dynamic connections between textual anxiety and anxiety about death in the ancient world, including ancient Mesopotamia and the Levant, Greco-Roman Egypt, and late antique Judaism and Christianity. It will also seek to integrate ongoing interdisciplinary work with ritual theory, sociolinguistic approaches to ancient textuality, linguistic anthropology, and, more broadly, the material turn in the study of the ancient world in order to further our understanding of ancient attitudes toward the nature of transmission and reception of traditions and texts in the spaces of the dead.
Tabnit sarcophagus, Sidon, Lebanon, ca. 5th century B.C.E. Istanbul Archaeological Museums. Image: © User:onceawhile / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Emily Cole Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
Maria Doerfler Yale University
Ellen Muehlberger University of Michigan
Laura Quick Princeton University
Annette Yoshiko Reed New York University
Seth Sanders University of California, Davis
Jeremy Smoak University of California, Los Angeles
Kerry Sonia Bowdoin College
Matthew Suriano University of Maryland, College Park
Jacqueline Vayntrub Brandeis University
Top Left: Eagle-Headed Genie Watering Sacred Tree, 883-859 B.C.E.; Top Right: Ceiling Tile of Heliodoros, an Actuarius, c. 3rd Century C.E.; Bottom Left: Portrait of a Bearded Man, 2nd Century C.E.; Bottom Right: Human-Headed Genie Watering Sacred Tree, 883-859 B.C.E. Yale University Art Gallery.