Call for Papers: Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures, EABS annual meeting, Leuven, Belgium, July 17-20


Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures
EABS annual meeting, Leuven, Belgium, July 17-20


Sonja Ammann, Humboldt University Berlin (

Mette Bundvad, University of Copenhagen (

Frauke Uhlenbruch (


This unit brings together scholars and practitioners to investigate scribal culture in biblical and para-biblical literatures in comparison and contrast with the practice of writing fan fiction.

Writers of fan fiction are well-versed in specific canons, for example a book or TV series. They engage with their canons in depth and create literature either set in the same fictional world as their canonical material or featuring the same characters. The material produced by fans, known as fan fiction, is a way of engaging with perceived canonical material that is intuitive and emotional, and can also be subversive. This research unit investigates possible intersections of fans’ ways of creating material based on a canon and (post-) biblical interpreters’ or redactors’ ways of compiling commentary or supplementary material on biblical canons in antiquity. The unit invites constructive and critical engagement with discontinuities (as well as continuities). For example, fan fiction is a contemporary phenomenon whose increased visibility is due to the Internet; put more generally, production and distribution is based on infrastructure different from ancient writings; therefore one may also expect different power relations and institutional contexts.

Fan fiction can be compared to the practices of groups of interpreters who have impacted the Bible and biblical interpretation in significant ways. This comparison can raise and answer questions about group identity, power, subversion, and impact of derivative works upon the canon. Fan fiction as a heuristic model allows us to study historical responses to antique corpora of texts, expressions of identities couched in derivative works, subversive manipulations of a canonical status quo, and emotional reactions to a canonical work.

Call for Papers 2016

This research group uses fan fiction as an interpretative model to study ancient texts, especially biblical and parabiblical texts from the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the pseudepigrapha, the New Testament, the Christian apocrypha, and Rabbinic literature.
At the 2016 conference in Leuven, we invite papers that use expressions of identity in contemporary fan fiction to investigate questions related to authorship and identity in ancient texts. Possible topics include, for example, strategies of constructing or concealing authorship (pseudepigraphy/anonymity), or scholarly assumptions about authors/creators based on the drift of a canon-related work. We also welcome papers that explore expressions of gendered identities, and how gendered expectations affect practices of writing and interpretation. We encourage participants to make their contributions in an interdisciplinary environment and we welcome papers concerned with methodology of the study of fan fiction, fans, and scribal culture.

Click here ( to submit an abstract.

Fan Fiction and Ancient Scribal Cultures


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