PSCO Presentation: 28 February, 2013

Panel Discussion: “Authors, Genres, and Books in Antiquity”

Jenny Barry (Drew University), Max Grossman (University of Maryland), David Stern (University of Pennsylvania), and Ben Wright (Lehigh University)


As part of our series of reflections on the past 50 years of scholarship — and the next 50 — we will consider changing perspectives on authors, genres, and books with panelists Jenny Barry, Max Grossman, David Stern, and Ben Wright. See below for suggested readings.

Video of the Session

The First Hour

This video includes the presentations of David Stern, Max Grossman, and Ben Wright.

The Second Hour

The following video includes the presentation of Jenny Barry and also the general discussion following the presentations.


Jennifer Barry is a Ph.D. candidate in the area of historical studies with a focus on late ancient Christianity at Drew University. The working title of her dissertation is, "Exiled bishops: The formation of orthodox identities through exilic discourse"

Maxine Grossman (PhD UPenn, 2000) is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Jewish Studies in the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Maryland. She is author of Reading for History in the Damascus Document: A Methodological Study and editor of Rediscovering the Dead Sea Scrolls: An Assessment of Old and New Approaches and Methods.

David Stern is Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently working on a book entitled The Jewish Library: Four Jewish Classics and the Jewish Experience, which traces the history of the physical forms of the Talmud, the Rabbinic Bible, the Prayerbook, and the Passover Haggadah, and the ways in which those forms have shaped the meaning and significance of these classic Jewish books.

Ben Wright (Ph.D. UPenn) is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion Studies at Lehigh University. He works on Judaism in the Second Temple period, focusing mostly on the book of Ben Sira and issues related to translation.

Meeting and Dining

All are welcome! As usual, those wishing to dine together before the seminar will meet at 6:00 p.m. in the Second-Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall and then go next door to the food court in Houston Hall.

As usual, the PSCO seminar will begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. We meet in the Second-Floor Lounge of Cohen Hall.

Suggested Readings

Averil Cameron, "How to Read Heresiology," Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 33.3 (2003): 471-492

Maxine Grossman, "Roland Barthes and the Teacher of Righteousness: The Death of the Author of the Dead Sea Scrolls," in The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. John J. Collins and Timothy Lim (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 709-22.

Carol Newsom, “Spying Out the Land: A Report from Genology,” in Bakhtin and Genre Theory in Biblical Studies, ed. Roland Boer; SBL Semeia Studies, 63 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2007), 19–31.

David Stern, “Rabbinics and Jewish Identity: An American Perspective,” in Jewish Thought and Jewish Belief (ed. Daniel J. Lasker; Beer-Sheva: Ben Gurion University of the Negev Press, 2012), *7-*27.

Benjamin J. Wright, "Joining the Club: A Suggestion about Genre in Early Jewish Texts," Dead Sea Discoveries 17.3 (2010): 260-285.

Those who are part of our Facebook group can access files for these articles under the Files tab there. For others who want copies of some or all of them, please email Annette Yoshiko Reed (at reedanne@sas).