Universiteit Leiden

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Working with collections: A roundtable on documentary sources, heritage politics, and civic engagement

Thursday 21 January 2021 - Friday 22 January 2021
Online due to Covid-19 restrictions

Working with collections

In this two-day roundtable, we bring together a group of researchers and conservators in the fields of classics, papyrology, late antiquity, history and Area studies to discuss and reflect on the interface of methodological and ethical challenges they have encountered while working with artifacts and documentary sources. We aim to present new research and innovative takes on issues connected to cultural heritage, heritage politics, and to our fields’ epistemologies. We want to highlight the various ways in which document experts deal with particular challenges as well as structural limitations. What new problems (ethical, political, methodological) does our working with document collections keep generating? In what ways does the use of pre-arranged collections or previously excavated sites influence our historical research, or even determine the historical questions we ask of our documents? How do “layers” of collected items shape our relationship to individual texts?

This workshop is for invited attendees only


  • Usama Gad (Ain Shams University–Heidelberg University)
  • Alison Gascoigne (University of Southampton)
  • Monica Hanna (Arab Academic for Science, Technology, and Maritime Transport)
  • Louise Loge (University of Glasgow)
  • Roberta Mazza (Manchester University)
  • Robert Parthesius (NYU Abu Dhabi)
  • Filiz Tütüncü Çağlar (Forum Transregionale Studien of Berlin)
  • Mathura Umachandran (Cornell University)
  • Donna Yates (University of Maastricht)
  • Josef Ženka (Charles University of Prague)
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