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The Digital Humanities Speaker Series resumes on Tuesday, October 16 at 4:00 p.m. in Lyons Hall 418 when Rebecca Krawiec, PhD, presents on the topic of “Studying Ancient Egyptian Christianity in a Modern Digital World.”

The chair of the Religious Studies and Theology Department will speak about her participation in a project aimed at creating a digital collection of ancient texts preserved in Coptic, a language that is linguistically related to earlier forms of Egyptian language, such as the hieroglyphs, but written in an alphabet based primarily on ancient Greek. The project itself is collaborative, with the two directors representing the areas of computational linguistics and religious studies. One of the main features of the project has been to incorporate many layers of information into the digitization so that each text provides access to multiple avenues of research. Krawiec will lay out these various layers and then focus on the specific work she has done to build the project as well as how the project has subsequently enhanced her own research about the development of Christianity in fourth and fifth century Egypt. Krawiec will also explore some of the challenges of this work, some of which are technical but also the ethical considerations about cultural heritage that are currently at the forefront of much of the study of antiquity.

Krawiec received her undergraduate degree from Brown University in 1990 and her PhD in religious studies from Yale University in 1996. She is the author of Shenoute and the Women of the White Monastery: Female Egyptian Monasticism in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 2002), which examines the lives of women in a monastery under a male leader, Shenoute. More recently, Krawiec published articles on issues of literacy and social memory in a range of forms of monasticism associated with Egypt in the fourth and fifth centuries. She is chair of the religious studies and theology Department at Canisius College. She specializes in courses on the New Testament and early Christian history, as well as women and religion more generally.

Submitted by: Mark Gallimore, Center for Online Learning & Innovation