“Interpreting Textual Artefacts” Colloquium Programme

Following-up on the preliminary announcement, here is the full programme of the colloquium with the names of the speakers and the titles of their talks.

This event is free of charge; all welcome!                                                                             

[In order to help with numbers for catering, please email: segolene.tarte [at] oerc.ox.ac.uk to confirm attendance – Thank you]

The information below is also available for download (A5 recto-verso flyer; A3 posterA4 – programme  only, without the overview; A5 abstracts booklet – with the available abstracts of the talks).


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

Dates: 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 convenes 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 puts 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.


11th December 2012

14:00 – 14:15




14:15 – 15:45

and Visual P

Chair: Dr Dirk Obbink (Classics, Oxford)

3x20min + 30min discussion

Prof. Chris Gosden (Archaeology, Oxford)

“Beyond Art and Agency: The Sensory Impacts of Objects”

Dr Kathryn Piquette (TOPOI, FU Berlin)

“The Impact of Reflectance Transformation
Imaging on Interpretative Processes for Ancient Egyptian Graphical Culture”

Prof. Glyn Humphreys (Neuroscience, Oxford)

 “The architecture of visual object recognition and attention”

15:45 – 16:15

Tea/coffee break



16:15 – 17:15

Engagement in Reading

Chair: Dr Ségolène Tarte (e-Research Centre, Oxford)

2x20min + 20min discussion

Dr Dominique Stutzmann (Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes, Paris)

“Reading the movement: morphology, ductus, and reading skills for medieval Latin scripts”

Prof. Marieke Longcamp (Neurosciences
Cognitives, Marseille)

Contribution of Writing
Knowledge to Visual Recognition of Graphic Shapes”

17:15 – 18:30

Drinks reception




12th December 2012

10:00 – 11:00


Chair: Dr Arietta Papaconstantinou (Classics, Reading)

2x20min + 20min discussion

Prof. Alan Bowman (Classics, Oxford)

 “The grammar of legibility in Latin cursive writing”

Prof. Laurent Cohen (CHU Pitié-Salpêtrière, Paris)

“The reading brain, neuropsychology and

11:00 – 11:30

Tea/coffee break



11:30 – 12:30

e and Context

Chair: Dr John Lowe (Linguistics, Oxford)

2x20min + 20min discussion

Dr Klaus Wagensonner
(Oriental Studies, Oxford)

“Lexical texts in perspective. On the implementation of lexical information in bilingual narratives”

Dr Richard Tunney (Psychology, Nottingham)

“Implicit learning of artificial and natural languages”

12:30 – 13:30




13:30 – 15:00

and Collaboration

Chair: Prof. David de Roure (e-Research Centre, Oxford)

3x20min + 30min discussion

Dr Peter Stokes (Digital Humanities, KCL)

“Communicating Palaeography Across and Beyond the Discipline(s)”

Dr Susana Avila Garcia (e-Research Centre, Oxford)

“Exploring the use of interactive surface technologies to support image analysis researchers”

Prof. David Kirsh (Cognitive Sciences, UC San Diego)

“Interactively interpreting: solo and distributively

15:00 – 15:30

Tea/coffee break



15:30 – 16:30




This is a joint event between Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Ancient Documents and the e-Research Centre. It has been made possible thanks to funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, through my early-career research fellowship, of which it is the closing event.



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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