The interdisciplinary seminar series “Markers of Authenticity” continues in session 1 2017 with the program of events listed below. Please join us for these seminars, for which we will send out reminders and abstracts closer to their respective dates.
Friday May 26, 1:00–2:30 pm W6A 308 (Ancient Cultures Research Centre Seminar Room)
‘On Authenticity and Race’
Adam Hochman (Department of Philosophy, Macquarie University), with a response by Andrew Gillett (Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University)
Discussion connecting race and authenticity tends to focus on the issue of ‘authentic’ racial identity. In this conversation, Hochman will explore some other, under-examined connections between the concepts. making the case that social constructionism about race – understood as the view that race is a social kind – creates a range of authenticity problems. It is unclear which groups count as de facto races under a social definition of the concept. Is there, or has there ever been, a Jewish race? A Muslim race? Consequently, it is unclear who has the appropriate expertise to speak about race. This problem appears especially in debates about whether race is modern. In other words, who are the ‘authentic’ race scholars? Hochman will suggest a solution to these authenticity problems, which involves a thoroughgoing rejection of racial ontology, and the replacement of race with the category of the racialized group.
Friday 2 June, 4:00–5:30 pm, X5B 321 (Museum of Ancient Cultures Seminar Room)
‘Forging Antiquity: Insights from a new ARC Discovery Project’
Malcolm Choat, Rachel Yuen-Collingridge, and Vanessa Mawby (Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University)
The Australian Research Council Discovery project ‘Forging Antiquity: Authenticity, forgery and fake papyri’, a collaboration between the Macquarie University and the University of Heidelberg, began in early 2017 with a study of two sixteenth century scholars, Pierre Hamon and Jean Mabillon and the earliest forged papyrus in the modern age. The treatment of the papyrus by these two scholars illuminates the emergence of methods and resources for the authentification of documents which are still in use today. By comparing the techniques developed to both construct and uncover the forgery, we will demonstrate how the two processes are entwined and provide salient lessons about the communication and reception of scientific practice.
Friday 9 June, 4:00–5:30 pm, X5B 321 (Museum of Ancient Cultures Seminar Room)
‘The Internet Antiquities Trade: Insight into an Invisible Market?’
Lauren Dundler (Department of Ancient History, Macquarie University) and Iain Shearer
In the past two decades, the emergence of an Internet market for antiquities has invited new challenges and concerns for policing and regulating the trade of cultural artefacts. Surprisingly, few have responded to these issues with research output. The Internet is a public archive which offers a unique and unprecedented glimpse into the trade of antiquities. There are, of course, still limitations in our understanding when viewing the market through this lens, but this does not detract from the valuable insight we can gain through providing rigorous analyses of the Internet market for antiquities. This discussion will examine how traditional market values of provenance and authenticity have been translated to an Internet forum, creating a market that is parallel, yet distinct, to the existing trade of antiquities.