Early Text Cultures Project: Call for New Members

A stone carving showing 4 men holding spears

The Early Text Cultures (ETC) is a multi-disciplinary project created for discussion of common and similar text types across ancient and pre-modern text cultures. ETC has been extremely active in the past few years – see our past events here – its main purpose being to make collaborative research easy, efficient, and exciting for the academic community in Oxford and beyond. 


The University of Oxford hosts a considerable number of graduate students and early career researchers specialising in many ancient cultures of the world, but this is a largely dispersed community. Our ultimate goal is to provide a platform where these people can meet to discuss their research and methodologies by establishing shared axes of comparison. We believe there is much to be gained from interacting with colleagues working in related – if distant – fields. Such fields often have problems and questions in common, while variations in context and approaches constitute valuable heuristic assets. You can find more details concerning our methodology here.  


We are looking for fresh voices and would be delighted to recruit new members, either graduate students, instructors, or early-career researchers coming from a variety of different backgrounds, including but by no means limited to ancient Egypt, ancient Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East broadly conceived (including West Semitic and Hebrew), ancient India, South-Eastern Asia and China, Japan, Mesoamerican cultures, ancient Greece, Rome and their neighbours, pre-modern Islamic areas, and Medieval Europe (Slavonic, Germanic, Celtic, and Romance language areas). 


Our plan is to carry out different kinds of events starting in Michaelmas 2020. Every term, a reading group will meet to explore a theme whose theoretical or practical slant transcends disciplinary boundaries. The topic will be decided collegially so as to reflect the interests of our members. Moreover, we aim to organise international workshops and conferences on topics related to those of the reading group. Student-focused seminars will also be part of the schedule to help provide cross-disciplinary feedback and interaction for graduate research being carried out across the University. Finally, we will explore manuscripts and written artefacts from different periods and cultures preserved in Oxford collections under the guidance of senior academics. 


The ETC Board is still looking for a Treasurer. If you are interested in joining the Board in addition to your membership, do let us know and we'll be happy to discuss the details of these positions! 


If you would like to get involved, please get in touch with Flaminia Pischedda (Secretary) at earlytextcultures.ox@gmail.com.


For more medieval matters from Oxford, have a look at the website of the Oxford Medieval Studies TORCH Programme and the OMS blog!