Preliminary announcement: colloquium “Interpreting Textual Artefacts: Cognitive Perspectives and Digital Support for Knowledge Creation”

I am currently working on putting together a colloquium, as a closing (and opening towards future research) event for my fellowship.

More details will be posted here soon, but in the mean time, here is an overview.

Interpreting Textual Artefacts: Cognitive Perspectives and Digital Support for Knowledge Creation


Date: 11th & 12th December 2012 (early afternoon 11th to tea time 12th)

Place: University of Oxford (Lecture theatre at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, 66 St Giles’ Oxford OX1 3LU)


The reading of textual artefacts in cuneiform studies (Assyriology), papyrology, epigraphy, palaeography, and mediaeval studies is at the core of the creation (discovery, invention) of new knowledge of past cultures and civilizations. The artefacts in themselves are devoid of meaning, and it is their interpretation and re-interpretation that contextualizes them and turns them into conveyors of knowledge.

This colloquium aims to convene scholars from a wide-ranging selection of fields in order to explore how knowledge is created through the act of interpretation of ancient documents. Each session will put into dialogue the work and methods, both digital and more traditional, of ancient documents scholars with findings from the cognitive sciences around the processes involved in the act of interpretation of ancient documents.

Through this event, we aim to gain a better-integrated view of the cognitive processes involved in the interpretation of ancient documents as well as some ways of supporting them and facilitating them digitally. As a tangible outcome of this colloquium, the presented papers will be gathered into an edited volume.

This 1.5 day colloquium will be articulated around the five following sessions:

  • Materiality and visual perception
  • Kinaesthetic engagement in reading
  • Word identification
  • Structural knowledge and context
  • Creativity and collaboration

Do mark the dates! All welcome!


Ségolène Tarte

I am a senior researcher at the e-Research Centre, University of Oxford, UK, where my research interests revolve around the seamless integration of digital tools within Humanities research, the impact of digital approaches on Humanities methodologies as well as the impact of Humanities methodologies on the development of digital tools. These interests brought three main themes to the fore in my research endeavours: materiality and its relationship to the digital; expertise and the multifarious questions of methodology in the Humanities; and multi/inter-disciplinarity and how that affects research processes. Originally an image processing specialist, my research focus turned to the Digital Humanities, when I started working with Classicists on images of Ancient papyri. The methodologies that I draw upon in my research are inspired and informed by ethnography, philosophy, and the cognitive sciences.

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One thought on “Preliminary announcement: colloquium “Interpreting Textual Artefacts: Cognitive Perspectives and Digital Support for Knowledge Creation””

  1. Magnifique approche ! Je concorde avec la présentation du fameux Text Bearing Object et c’est heureux de lire que la loupe des sciences cognitives sera également conviée pour enrichir la compréhension du dit TBO et sa représenation numérique. I can’t wait to read the program!

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