A consortium of eleven universities is hosting a series of intensive programs in papyrology for each of the summers from 2003 to 2115. (See list below.) During this period, the American Society of Papyrologists is seeking to raise a permanent endowment for the program so that the series can be continued indefinitely. (If you would like to contribute to the endowment, click here, or contact the ASP This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.)

The principal objective of the seminars is to provide participants with sufficient instruction and practical experience to enable them to make productive use of texts on papyrus in their research and to become active scholars in the field of papyrology. Each seminar has a distinctive linguistic, chronological, or thematic focus, reflecting the interests and available resources of the host institution. Some seminars will involve forms of the Egyptian language and scripts as well as Greek.

The seminars are directed at advanced graduate students and younger faculty in relevant fields, including Classics, Ancient History, Egyptology, Archaeology, Ancient Religions, and Biblical Studies. Approximately 10 participants are chosen for each seminar by the host institution. The programs are intensive and 5-6 weeks long. The faculty normally include both those who regularly teach at the host institution and guest professors from other universities in North America and Europe. ASP provides a certificate to those completing the institute, but the host institutions neither grant credit nor provide a transcript.

Most seminars offer stipends to defray some of the participants' costs. There is no tuition fee.

Schedule of seminars and list of host institutions, with names of organizing faculty:

2003 Yale University: Robert G. Babcock, Ann Ellis Hanson
2004 University of California, Berkeley: Todd M. Hickey
2005 University of Cincinnati: Peter van Minnen, William A. Johnson
2006 Columbia University: Roger S. Bagnall, Raffaella Cribiore
2007 (none: International Congress of Papyrology)
2008 Stanford University: J. G. Manning 
2009 University of Michigan: Traianos Gagos, Arthur Verhoogt
2010 (none: International Congress of Papyrology)
2011 Brigham Young University: Roger Macfarlane, Stephen Bay
2012 University of Chicago  / University of Illinois, Urbana: David Martinez, Maryline G. Parca
2013 (none: International Congress of Papyrology)

Starting in 2014, the Society will subvent co-sponsored institutes on a biennial schedule.

2014 Princeton University: AnneMarie Luijendijk

2016 Duke University: Joshua Sosin


Our goal is to establish an endowment to subvent and continue the program in perpetuum. Through the generosity of its members and friends, ASP has raised a substantial amount towards that goal, but seeks your help to finish the task. If you would like to contribute to the endowment, click here.

What's New in Papyrology

  • Twitter 
  • From the Facebook Page of the Istituto Papirologico Girolamo Vitelli
  • Thu, Aug 27, 2015 at 7:53 PM, Roger Bagnall wrote: I am sorry to have to report that Leslie MacCoull has just died, age 70, in Tempe, Arizona. She will be best known to papyrologists for her work on the archive of Dioskoros of Aphrodite, but in later years she published extensively on John Philoponus.

  • Link https://www.academia.edu/14634070/Growing_up_Motherless_in_Antiquity_A_Conference_on_Mother_Absence_in_the_Ancient_Mediterranean

    Growing up Motherless in Antiquity: A Conference on Mother Absence in the Ancient Mediterranean
    Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner, Universität Basel, Switzerland; Dr. David M. Ratzan, New York University

    26.05.2016 - 28.05.2016

    Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner

    The last forty years have witnessed a vast reclamation project in ancient history, as scholars have worked to recover the lives of historically muted groups, particularly those of women and children. The result is an impressive body of work collecting the traces ancient women and children have left behind, as well as a sophisticated epistemology of the biases, gaps, and silences in the historical record. From this perspective, the absence of ancient mothers has represented an ineluctable reality and a methodological hurdle, but rarely a subject of study in its own right. Yet the evidence suggests that mother absence was not merely a secondary artifact of bias or artistic and historiographical conventions; it was also a primary condition of antiquity, one whose root causes, social articulations, and psychological effects have never been fully described or explored, even as it had a profound effect on ancient family life and the experience of childhood.
    In approaching the causes, forms, and effects of ancient mother absence we now stand to benefit not only from the last four decades of research into the ancient and pre-modern family (including a growing bibliography on ancient mothers, e.g., the recent collection of Petersen and Salzman-Mitchell (eds.), Mothering and Motherhood in Ancient Greece and Rome [Univ. Texas Press, 2012]), but also from recent research into contemporary mother absence. The root cause of ancient mother absence, of course, was death, with the result that a significant proportion of ancient children grew up without their biological mothers. In the contemporary West, by contrast, mother absence is increasingly the product of the number of working and career mothers (now two-thirds to three-quarters of all mothers in Germany, Switzerland, France, and the U.S.), a social revolution that is rapidly transforming the practices, economics, ideals, and politics of mothering. Cameron Macdonald’s Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering (Berkeley 2011), for example, investigates the ways in which mother-work has been commoditized, outsourced, and negotiated between mothers and “shadow mothers” over the last two decades. Macdonald’s account of the economics, class tensions, and strategic postures shaping the relationships between contemporary mothers and a quasi-professionalized class of surrogates is a thought-provoking read for anyone acquainted with the various “shadow mothers” of antiquity. This and similar research suggests that ancient historians should attempt to see the phenomenon of ancient mother absence as a continuum, ranging from its obvious manifestation in the total absence caused by maternal death, to the partial absences of various forms of maternal separation brought about by economic necessity, divorce, slavery, social conventions, and perhaps even choice on occasion. It also provides us with a potential framework to understand the ways in which different parties or groups cognized and responded to maternal absence, from the children who grew up without their mothers to varying degrees, to those who stepped in, were employed, or commanded to mother them, a patchwork cast of stepmothers, family members, wet nurses, and domestic slaves—and perhaps we may even extend this analysis to the absent mothers themselves, to the extent that we can recover or reconstruct their experiences.
    We invite scholars to reconsider the absence of ancient mothers in terms of ancient mother absence (cf. Huebner & Ratzan (eds.), Growing Up Fatherless in Antiquity [Cambridge, 2009]) and seek papers on any aspect of ancient mother absence in the ancient Mediterranean, from any period, subfield, or methodological approach, including (but not limited to) the following themes:
    - The demography and sociology of ancient mother absence, including forms of mother absence not occasioned by death
    - The relationship of the cultural ideals of “good” and “bad” mothers to the realities of mother absence, and the cultural construction and deconstruction of mothers, including reflections and refractions of mother absence in various rejections of motherhood (e.g., cults of virginity or chastity, medical theories minimizing maternal contribution to conception, myths of male pregnancy and birth, etc.)
    - The anthropology, economics, ideology, status, and micropolitics of ancient mother-work and those who performed it (mothers, shadow mothers, stepmothers, etc.) and the effects or outcomes on children
    - The psychology, emotional life, identities, and strategies of absent mothers, the children who lived apart from or survived them, and those who filled the persistent familial gap (mothers, shadow mothers, stepmothers, etc.)
    - Visual or poetic representations of or engagements with mother absence and the discourse of mother absence in epitaphs, eulogies, personal correspondence, religion, cult, forensic rhetoric, politics, law, or medicine


    Abstracts should be no more than 400 words (exclusive of title and biographical note), describing a 20-minute paper to be delivered in English. Please include the full title of your paper and a brief biographical note on your academic affiliation and previous research. Qualified junior researchers and recent PhD graduates are encouraged to apply. The deadline for full consideration is Oct. 15, 2015.
    Please submit your abstract by email to: david.ratzan@nyu.edu or sabine.huebner@unibas.ch.
    Prof. Dr. Sabine Huebner
    Departement für Altertumswissenschaften, Universität Basel