The Cutting Edge: epigraphy seminars (London)

The Cutting Edge: discussions in epigraphy

Convenors: Abigail Graham & Gabriel Bodard
Venue: Institute of Classical Studies, University of London

The Cutting Edge is an informal series of dynamic seminars and hands-on training sessions to introduce the challenges and benefits of epigraphy as an evolving discipline, where tradition and innovation meet (and sometimes clash).  Discussions explore how we engage with inscriptions: how they have been created, classified, recorded and studied (past, present, and future). Aimed at graduate students, ECRs, and any researchers with an interest in this area, this series will be particularly valuable for those who would like to develop skills in accessing and using epigraphic sources as part of broader research interests (without necessarily becoming an expert epigrapher). We welcome suggestions for future topics or speakers in this series.

June 22, 2023, 16:30–17:30: Conventional Epigraphy: Encoding the physicality of writing with the Leiden System

Free but booking required.

In this seminar we will explore the evolution of conventions for publishing epigraphy and papyrology as texts, with a focus on the Leiden system (est. 1931) of critical signs (e.g. square brackets for restorations). How did this system develop alongside other systems of transcription used in Graeco-Roman and other traditions and why are there so many variants? What do editorial choices of designers and users of these conventions reflect about their priorities and focus regarding physicality versus text?  How do features of critical signs (as opposed to apparatus, commentary, notes, diplomatic editions, photographs) enhance or clutter a text for readers? Inform your own opinion about how we present epigraphic materials to a broader audience in different contexts.

July 19, 2023, 14:00-17:00: Making the Cut: A live demo of planning and executing an inscription

Free but booking required.

Wayne Hart, a professional letter-carver, typographer and sculptor, whose work now paves the hallowed halls of Westminster Abbey and Norwich Cathedral, will guide us through the labyrinth of planning, designing and executing a stone inscription. Participants will have the opportunity to actively engage in all stages of the process and to discuss the issues and techniques with an expert practitioner. What are the practical and logistical challenges involved in creating an inscription? Do you have a hidden talent with a chisel or is the process (like its stone medium) harder than it looks? Come along and find out!

  • August: no seminar
  • Sept, Oct, Nov: seminars to be announced
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