Field Study of Ancient Texts in NYC
In Spring 2018, students in CC Assistant Professor Pamela Reaves’ Making and Faking Scriptures course will travel to New York City for four days to visit museums and libraries, where they will explore visual, material, and textual dimensions of scriptural production.
This Religion and Classics course focuses on the physical nature of ancient texts as well as their transmission (the “making” of scriptures); in addition, it considers the practice of scriptural forgery, both ancient and modern (the “faking” of scriptures). This trip will allow students to develop fuller insight into both facets of the course.
Through a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, students will encounter some of the earliest examples of written texts, including ancient Egyptian papyri and Greek inscriptions. At the related Cloisters, students will explore a range of biblical manuscripts, including illuminated materials and codices; in addition, they will experience the medieval settings that encouraged the transmission of the Bible through text, voice, and image. At both museums, students will also encounter a range of religious art from the classical through medieval periods, which will enhance their understanding of the intersection of textual tradition and visual culture.
The Morgan Library and Museum will offer further access to textual histories, including an impressive collection of ancient Near Eastern cylinder seals as well as editions of the Gutenberg Bible.
Finally, students will engage in archival research at the Jewish Theological Seminary, with a focus on the collection of Morton Smith, a scholar of early Judaism and Christianity associated with the forgery of an early Christian gospel, the Secret Gospel of Mark. Through Smith’s scholarly pieces as well as personal notes, letters, and reflections, students will encounter varied forms of evidence associated with the infamous case.
Why you should contribute
Contributions toward this project will significantly diminish or eradicate any program fees associated with the course, which could range from $300-$600 per student. Without a substantial program fee, the course is open to a wider range of Colorado College students. Your gift is an excellent way to support field-based learning, a celebrated and distinctive aspect of the CC experience!
The fundraising goal of $7,500 is based on a prior trip in Spring 2016, which included seven students and expenses totaling $6,579; any remaining funds, if enrollment is lower, would be reserved for future versions of this trip or other similar student-based field study.
- Roundtrip airfare (Denver to New York City and back)
- Transportation (between CC and Denver; between NYC airport and Manhattan; subway within NYC)
- Hotel accommodations (three nights in Manhattan)
- Admission fees to museums
- Retrieval fees at archive