Back in March we held our second CREWS Conference, ‘Exploring the Social and Cultural Contexts of Historic Writing Systems’. As you’ll know if you read Pippa’s article about it, it was a very exciting three days where we heard from speakers with a very diverse set of specialisms and approaches on different aspects of how writing practices are shaped by – and shape – the social contexts in which they’re carried out. This is an important topic because all too often we think about writing systems as abstract things which can be understood purely on their own terms, rather than as part and parcel of human action and culture that encompasses everything from cookery to art.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be giving everyone the chance to watch, enjoy and learn from some of the talks from the conference. Every Monday and Thursday, a number of the talks will be put up on the CREWS YouTube channel, so do subscribe so you don’t miss anything. We’ll be releasing videos in (more or less) the order they were presented at the conference, so you can follow the themes and ideas as they developed over the three days. We’re very grateful to all the speakers who have agreed to let us share their talks. Of course, the conference proceedings will also be published in book form in due course, but that’s a bit further ahead!

Kicking us off today, we have:
Theodore Nash, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Cultures of Writing: The Invention and Re-Invention of Greek Writing in Context

Dr Aurélie Névot, CNRS – How to decrypt the secret writings of the Masters of psalmody (Yunnan, China)? Words beyond writings.

Dr Piers Kelly, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History – Writing systems invented by non-literates and what they tell us.

Dr Katherine Forsyth, University of Glasgow – Literacy beyond the limes: the social and cultural contexts of ogham and Pictish symbol writing

The abstracts of all the talks from the conference are available here.

We hope you find these talks as fascinating, enjoyable and informative as we did!

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