Writing performances
  • Research

Writing performances : Symbolic representations of writing’s power

This conference intends to question and advance our understanding of the specificity of writing, as symbol, as pragmatic tool and as social instrument, moving beyond the traditional auxiliary view of writing, which reduces it to a system of encoded linguistic signs.

  • From June 20th to June 22nd

  • 08:00 - 17:00
  • Conférence
  • Institut français d’archéologie orientale (IFAO), Cairo. To register, send an email.

Writing is much more than a transcriptional tool at the service of the spoken word, of a message or of a memory; it’s purview is not limited to transmitting or preserving statements. Beyond its status as vehicle for a "signifié", writing also has great social power, often intimately connected with its visual and graphic shape, but also with the physical and social contexts linked with the acts of inscribing and viewing.

This conference is devoted to these broad questions of the social and symbolic uses of writing, as studied through the prism of a very revealing phenomenon, which are considered especially conducive to comparative approaches, and which have been labelled “Writing as spectacle”. By this are meant occasions in which an act of writing is itself represented in narrative discourse and/or in iconography.

This event brings together historians and specialists in written cultures from the world, including contemporary writing and the digital humanities.

Discover the complete program on the "Institut français d’archéologie orientale'"s website, by following the link provided below.

Organizing committee

  • Chloé Ragazzoli, egyptologist, professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of Sorbonne University et member of the laboratory "Orient et Méditerranée"
  • Carole Roche-Hawley, researcher at the "Centre national de la recherche scientifique" (CNRS), member of the laboratory "Orient et Méditerranée" and member of the "Institut français du Proche-Orient" (IFPO), department of "Archéologie et d’histoire de l’Antiquité" (DAHA)


This conference is organized by the laboratory "Orient et Méditerranée" (UMR 8167 ), in collaboration with the "Institut français d’archéologie orientale" (IFAO). Organized in cooperation with the scientific program entitled “Ecritures: Toward an archeology and an anthropology of ancient Egyptian writing practices”, this conference is also the fruit of the transversal project “Writing as spectacle” conducted in the laboratory “Orient et Méditerranée”.

Orient et Méditerranée (O&M - UMR 8167)

L'unité de recherche Orient et Méditerranée est une entité de recherche de qualité scientifique éminente et de taille significative qui rassemble, pour les domaines qu’elle fédère, une grande partie des forces de la recherche française. Ses travaux s’appliquent à un espace géographique cohérent, la Méditerranée, sur une longue durée allant du monde pharaonique à l’aube de la Renaissance. Elle fait appel à l’ensemble des disciplines des sciences humaines.

L’UMR est constituée de six équipes qui occupent une place unique dans le paysage européen de la recherche pour les études sémitiques, les études byzantines et la médecine grecque, et sont des lieux d’excellence reconnue pour les études égyptiennes, islamiques et de l’Antiquité tardive.