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2016 Marco Manuscript Workshop

11th Annual Marco Manuscript Workshop
Performing Texts
February 5-6, 2016

The Eleventh Marco Manuscript Workshop will be held Friday, February 5, and Saturday, February 6, 2016, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville; the workshop is organized by Professors Roy M. Liuzza (English) and Maura Lafferty (Classics).

For this year’s workshop we invite presentations that explore the idea of “performing texts.” In a sense all pre-modern texts are performative; reading was generally an auditory and often a social experience, unlike modern practices of silent and usually solitary reading. Textual elements such as rubrics, initials, and punctuation all work to ease the passage from visual artifact to living performance. Other manuscripts are sites of performance in their intertextual composition, blending word and image, juxtaposing one text to another, adding meaning at the moment of interaction between a text and reader. Still other manuscripts are explicitly scripts for vocal performance: examples include texts with musical notation, poems and songs, dramas to be enacted or transcripts of acts already performed, liturgical texts and prayers, medical recipes and charms. The manuscript is only the silent record of the voices and actions it inspired. How do we interpret and represent this record to recover the performance imbedded in the text? We welcome presentations on any aspect of this topic, broadly imagined.

The workshop is open to scholars and students at any rank and in any field who are engaged in textual editing, manuscript studies, or epigraphy. Individual 75-minute sessions will be devoted to each project; participants will be asked to introduce their text and its context, discuss their approach to working with their material, and exchange ideas and information with other participants. As in previous years, the workshop is intended to be more like a class than a conference; participants are encouraged to share new discoveries and unfinished work, to discuss both their successes and frustrations, to offer both practical advice and theoretical insights, and to work together towards developing better professional skills for textual and codicological work. We particularly invite the presentation of works in progress, unusual manuscript problems, practical difficulties, and new or experimental models for studying or representing manuscript texts.

This year’s workshop presenters include:

  • Tina Chronopoulos, Binghamton University
  • Joyce Coleman, University of Oklahoma
  • Rhonda McDaniel, Middle Tennessee State University
  • Claire Fanger, Rice University
  • Shannon Gayk, Indiana University
  • Wendy Pfeffer, University of Louisville
  • William Quinn, University of Arkansas
  • Cynthia Rogers, Indiana University

The workshop is also open at no cost to scholars and students who do not wish to present their own work but are interested in sharing a lively weekend of discussion and ideas about manuscript studies. Further details will be available later in the year; please contact Roy Liuzza for more information.

Previous Workshops

February 6-February 7, 2015 “Mind the Gaps”
January 31-February 1, 2014 “Textual Communities”
February 1-2, 2013 “Texts at Work”
February 3-4, 2012 “Readers”
February 4-5, 2011 “Editions and E-ditions: New Tools for Old Texts”

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