WORKING GROUP 11 Socialised texts

Ansprechpartnerin: Ulrike Ehmig

In all pre-modern cultures we encounter the phenomenon of written texts of different content, type, language or hands on one and the same artefact – be it clay tablet, animal skin, bamboo scroll, marble stele, paper web, papyrus, silk cloth or wall fresco. It can well be observed that carriers of written text are socialised in specific finds, sometimes in closed-finds. Furthermore, an identical text can occur on different kinds of media across boundaries of artefacts, finds, and writing materials, to the effect that  various artefacts, their contexts and their materiality interlock.

The examples of outlined types of socialised writings collected so far have their origin in ancient Egypt, classical China and the Greek and Roman ancient world. At the same time, the phenomenon does neither know kinds of temporal nor spatial boundaries. Frequently, the socialised contents and inscribed materials are not connected with each other in a direct or compelling way. For their socialisation this implies different concepts of writing and text production, of authors and scribes, of simultaneity and sequence, of message and medium.

The working group’s aim is to trace these conceptions and to examine the different kinds of socialised texts regarding their possible conditions and reciprocal impacts. The variance of this interdependence and the spectrum of its backgrounds shall be fathomed by the consideration of spatially as well as temporally widely spread case studies. The question of superordinate conceptions will be pursued through inter- and transdisciplinary discussions.