Authorial Fictions and Attributions in the Ancient Mediterranean

From the BRANE Collective in partnership with the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature and the Second Temple Early Career Academy

Organised by Julia Lindenlaub and Chance Bonar

Featuring Karen King, Joseph Howley,
Liv Ingeborg Lied, Roberta Mazza, Hindy Najman, Irene Peirano Garrison, Hugo Méndez, and Patricia Rosenmeyer

Friday, September 24, 2021

Panel 1: 9:30-11:00am EST / 3:30-5:00pm CET
Panel 2: 2:30-4:00pm EST / 8:30-10:00pm CET



This colloquium brings together scholars working on early Judaism, early Christianity, and Classics to discuss authorship and attribution beyond the typical boundaries of our fields. Monthly events through December will feature panel discussions of prominent work in this area, alongside new research presentations. Come join us to hear interdisciplinary dialogue on authorial fictions and attributions in the ancient Mediterranean, featuring top scholars in ancient history, as well as rising stars among early career researchers!

Stay tuned for further registration details for our upcoming events on October 5, November 9, and December 9!

Panel 1: Panellists Karen King, Joseph Howley, Liv Ingeborg Lied, and Roberta Mazza will discuss the essay: Karen L. King, “‘What is an Author?’: Ancient Author-Function in the Apocryphon of John and the Apocalypse of John,” in Scribal Practices and Social Structures Among Jesus Adherents: Essays in Honour of John S. Kloppenborg, ed. William E. Arnal et al., BETL 285 (Leuven: Peeters, 2016), 15-42.

Panel 2: Panellists Hindy Najman, Irene Peirano Garrison, Hugo Méndez, and Patricia Rosenmeyer will discuss the essay: Hindy Najman and Irene Peirano Garrison, “Pseudepigraphy as an Interpretive Construct,” in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: Fifty Years of the Pseudepigrapha Section at the SBL, ed. Matthias Henze and Liv Ingeborg Lied, SBLEJL 50 (Atlanta: SBL, 2019), 331-355.

Panellists for Event 1

Karen L. King was trained in comparative religions and historical studies. She is the author of books and articles on the diversity of ancient Christianity, women and gender studies, and religion and violence.  Her particular passion is studying recently discovered literature from Egypt, including The Gospel of Mary, The Apocalypse of James, The Gospel of Philip, and The Secret Revelation of John

Joseph Howley teaches Latin, the history of the book, and the humanities and literature more broadly. He has published on Roman intellectual and reading cultures, including Roman study abroad and juristic writing, as well as the history of the book and reading. His first book, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the Noctes Atticae, was published in 2018 by Cambridge University Press.  His current project concerns enslaved labor in the history of the Roman book.

Liv Ingeborg Lied is a scholar of early Jewish texts and their manuscript transmission. She is interested in the methods, ethics and epistemologies of textual scholarship and the academic imagination of ancient literature.

Roberta Mazza is an expert of Graeco-Roman material culture and papyrologist. Her primary interests include the history of Egypt in the Graeco-Roman period, late antiquity, and the rise of Christianity. Her most recent research looks at the materiality of texts and the ethics involved in collecting, handling and publishing ancient papyrus manuscripts.

Panellists for Event 2

Hindy Najman’s research interests encompass Composition and Author Function; Construction and Imitation of Biblical Figures; Pseudepigraphy and Attribution; Revelation; Idealized Sage; Perfectionism; Philological Practices; Diaspora and Exile; Authority and Authenticity; Allegorical Interpretation and Midrash; Destruction and Trauma; Collection and Canon; Generic categories; Performance and Poetics; the History of Biblical Interpretation; and Scholarly Practices of Reading biblical traditions. She focuses on Hebrew Bible; Dead Sea Scrolls; Hellenistic Jewish Literature, especially Philo of Alexandria and early Rabbinic literature and ancient Jewish liturgy. 

Irene Peirano Garrison works on Roman poetry and its relation to rhetoric and literary criticism, both ancient and modern.  She is especially interested in ancient strategies of literary reception, in notions of authorship in antiquity and in the history of scholarship.

Hugo Méndez is a New Testament scholar, whose work foregrounds the role invention and pseudepigraphy have played in early Christian attempts to lay claim to the biblical and establish a discursive authority over it. His first book, The Cult of St. Stephen in Jerusalem: Inventing a Patron Martyr, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. He is currently writing a second monograph tentatively entitled Gospel Truth: The Books of John as a Literary Tradition of Pseudepigraphy.

Patricia A. Rosenmeyer‘s publications include books on non-canonical authors and “marginal” topics:  The Poetics of Imitation (CUP 1992); Ancient Epistolary Fictions (CUP 2001); Ancient Greek Literary Letters (Routledge 2006); and The Language of Ruins (OUP 2018).  She is currently working on a commentary on Sappho for undergrads, and a study of Jewish receptions of classical literature. 

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