I recently shared a poster for one of our calls for papers. Time for another:
Online Resources and Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity This joint session with the AAR section Traditions of Eastern Late Antiquity will include both a selection of invited papers and proposals. We are accepting papers that explore online resources relating to traditions and literature in Syriac, Hebrew, Aramaic, Iranian, etc. We are especially interested in proposals that analyze these resources with an eye toward imagining the discipline in a digital age. We are also interested in papers exploring the use of social media for contemporary group identity among communities and diasporas that stem from Eastern Late Antiquity (such as Parsi, Mandaean, and Yezidis, as well as Jews and Christians in and from Iraq and Iran), and how they represent themselves and their traditions online.
I was fascinated when I met with a Mandaean family in the Boston area last year to hear about how online debates take place among Mandaean young people concerning their heritage, in a manner that – even when they are disagreeing and even arguing – reinforces their sense of commitment to their heritage and thus helps to maintain their sense of identity. Can online community provide this on a global scale, in a manner that previously depended on the existence of a community that existed in close physical/geographical proximity to oneself in order for this sense of shared identity to be maintained, and heritage to be preserved and passed on? I would be delighted if this were to become the focus of a research project – and, in the shorter term, a conference paper proposal.
I hope that the Mandaean Book of John project, which has been possible in part due to the technological context in which it was undertaken, will also be the focus of a paper.