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Thanks to generous support from The Queen’s College we are pleased to announce the launch of The Centre for Manuscript and Text Cultures (CMTC), an inter- and cross-disciplinary research centre for the study of material text cultures and their written artefacts. CMTC builds on, and substantially expands—both methodologically and in scope—the activities of the Workshop for Manuscript and Text Cultures (WMTC), which has been running successfully since 2012.
When, how, and what?

‘Manuscript and Text Cultures’ describes a phenomenon that begins when written documents start to circulate more widely and knowledge transmission becomes increasingly text-centred and no longer a predominantly oral exercise. CMTC offers a platform for established scholars and research students engaged in the recovery, decipherment and interpretation of texts from a broad range of pre-modern cultures in which this phenomenon can be observed, including ancient China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and medieval Europe. Its activities are designed to enable scholars to share their experiences and develop new, collaborative research topics across disciplinary boundaries. CMTC combines traditional approaches, such as philology, epigraphy and papyrology, with new methodologies inspired by communication theory, information science, philosophy, and other disciplines, in order to generate a common language for the study of the material conditions of meaning production and memory across time and space. Its interdisciplinary research sets out to drive our understanding of the processes underlying human creation of knowledge and meaning in methodologically novel ways with clarity and rigour. In this way the Centre hopes to enable informed debate across subject boundaries and to contribute to shaping an emerging field of enquiry into the material factors of knowledge production across societies.

The Centre has a regular programme of research seminars and lunchtime colloquia, with three meetings each term held in the Magrath Room of The Queen’s College.

Research Workshop (5 - 7 pm)

·      Wednesday, week 6

The Workshop takes the format of a one-hour presentation, followed by one hour of discussion.

Lunchtime Colloquia (12.30 - 2pm)

·      Tuesday, week 2:

Two members of faculty discuss work in progress

·      Tuesday, week 4:

Two doctoral students discuss work in progress

Please email us if you wish to receive further information or if you would like to suggest a speaker for our events.

Who we are

CMTC began in 2012 as an initiative of a group of Fellows at Queen’s, led by Dirk Meyer, with common interests in manuscript and text cultures in literate societies. Since then it has drawn in academics and postdoctoral researchers from other colleges. It provides the nucleus of a research cluster for the humanities with a focus on knowledge production and text circulation which we hope will attract future graduate students.

The Director of the Centre is Dirk Meyer (Chinese). Other members are Angus Bowie (Queen’s: Classics); Christopher Metcalf (Queen’s: Classics and the Near East); John Baines (Queen’s: Egyptology); Charles Crowther (Queen’s: Ancient history and epigraphy); Selena Wisnom (Queen’s: Sumerian and Akkadian); Gabriele Rota (Queen's: Classics); Henrike Lähnemann (St Edmund Hall: Medieval languages and cultures); Christelle Alvarez (Oxford/Berlin: Egyptology); Yegor Grebnev (Merton College: Chinese); Tara Heuze (Queen's: John P. Clay Scholar in Sanskrit).

The Centre is steered by a Management Committee and overseen by an International Advisory Board.


Dirk Meyer: Director of CMTC and Senior editor of the journal Manuscript and Text Cultures
Angus Bowie: Senior editor of Manuscript and Text Cultures
Christopher Metcalf: Secretary of the Board
Charles Crowther: Communications Officer
Yegor Grebnev: Production editor of Manuscript and Text Cultures
Gabriele Rota: Outreach Officer