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CALL. 13.09.2015: The Materiality of Texts between Lebenswelt and Lesewelt - Zurich (Switzerland)



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Zurich (Zurich, Switzerland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Ulrich Eigler, together with Brigitte Marti, Cornelia Ritter-Schmalz, Raphael Schwitter and Dominique Stehli



Ancient texts exist in many different material states, for example as private copies, school texts, illuminated manuscripts, or modern scientific editions. All these states contribute to the ways the texts have been conceived throughout the centuries. The specific materiality of a monumental inscription, a book roll, a codex, or a printed book is closely connected with its distinctive paratextual additions, which in turn may trigger and shape the reader’s interest in the main text, as can be seen in book epigrams, prefaces or tables of content. Serving as carriers of the written word, as a real part of the Lebenswelt, the different media and medial constellations enable texts to be physically read and literally grasped. Even to the bare materiality of books, texts, scriptures on parchment, papyrus or stone, a specific narrativity is inherent, a sort of paratextual dynamics which appeals to the reading public. At the same time, self-reflexive references on the materiality of texts form part of action and plot in the Lesewelt and create effects of poetology, distance and irony. Looking at material states explicitly and implicitly allows different readings of texts, and thus creates new meanings and ambiguities. This conference is dedicated to these features of ancient and medieval writing culture. You are very welcome to send us the topic of your paper together with a short abstract (200-300 words) bySeptember 13, 2015 by email to We particularly like to encourage also younger researchers from the fields of classics and medieval studies to hand in their paper. Conference languages are German, French, Italian and English. The papers to be presented at the conference should be handed in two weeks before the conference in order to be distributed to all participants.

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