Sunday, 14 August 2016

Fragments of an Unbelievable Past?

The autumn semester is about to start here in Norway and I return to blogging again.
I want to dedicate the first blog post this autumn to the second conference organised by the University of Agder-based research project The Lying Pen of Scribes, called Fragments of an Unbelievable Past? Constructions of Provenance, Narratives of Forgeries. The conference, which will take place in Kristiansand (Norway) 14-16 September, brings together academics and media professionals from Europe and the US to discuss the role, importance and ethical challenges pertaining to manuscript provenance; the various outcomes of the overlaps between media, market and academia; as well as to explore scholarly and media made stories of manuscript finds and forgeries. The conference will revisit some of the last decades’ most debated cases, such as the James Ossuary, the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife saga, the Museum/Green Scholars Initiative, the Nag Hammadi find stories, and if I am not mistaken, we will also be introduced to some recent finds, some newly surfacing fragments, and publication initiatives that have proven particularly problematic.
I will give the paper “Media Dynamics and Academic Knowledge Production: Tracing the Role of the Media in the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Saga”. In this paper I will approach the GJW saga as a case, discussing three ways in which media/the Media mattered to, took part in and possibly shaped academic knowledge production. I will first explore the relationship between the work of academics and media professionals at key stages of the development of the saga. Second, I will focus on the input of academics in particular, discussing how and the extent to which media/the Media may have mattered to the ways in which individual contributions, as well as the academic debate as such, were shaped. Third and finally, I will explore the GJW saga from a history of publishing point of view, that is, a broader media historical perspective: what did we learn, what’s new, and how do media/the Media matter to academic knowledge production?
The Unbelievable Past-conference has a great line up, you find the program here.

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