Ellen Muehlberger is professor of History and Middle East Studies at the University of Michigan.

Blossom Stefaniw is a Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Foundation and writes on early Christian textual cultures, masculinity, and feminist historiography of late antiquity.

Jacqueline Vayntrub is Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale Divinity School.



Matthew P. Monger is Associate Professor of Near Eastern Languages and Literatures at MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion, and Society.


Books are more than just text containers.  Like ships at sea, books bear a precious cargo through space and time. Sometimes, as with "books known only by title," we can only glimpse them from afar. Other times, we receive the cargo, worn and altered by its long journey.

As vessels of knowledge, books navigate the relationships between bodies, time, and space.  This panel examines ancient conceptions of moving knowledge, with attention to how books can enable or resist its transmission. Panelists will consider narratives not only of stability and continuity, but also of invention, uncertainty, and disruption.  How did the ancients conceive of the transmission of knowledge?  What happens when knowledge moves genealogically as an inheritance or birthright?  And how do books, real or imagined, function in these narratives of transmission?




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