Erasure History, 11 and 12 November 2011

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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.

2011 Organizer, John W. Marshall, Associate Professor, Department for the Study of Religion, University of Toronto

Pre-registration is necessary to observe or attend.


  • Jonathan Burgess, University of Toronto
  • Edward Champlin, Princeton University
  • Eva Mroczek, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Anders Runesson, McMaster University
  • Mark Goodacre, Duke University
  • John Gager, Princeton University
  • Eldon Epp, Harvard University
  • Giovanni Bazanna, Harvard University
  • Nicola Denzey Lewis, Brown University
  • Kate Cooper, University of Manchester
  • James Corke-Webster, University of Manchester


  • Centre for Jewish Studies
  • Department for the Study of Religion
  • Department of Classics
  • Centre for Medieval Studies
  • The Conference on Editorial Problems
  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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