Rachel Yuen-Collingridge


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Research interests

Rachel Yuen-Collingridge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the ARC funded Discovery Project 'Ancient Egyptian Papyri: Unlocking Secrets to the History of Writing' (ARC DP 190100240, 2019–2021, under Prof. M. Choat, Prof. Damian Gore, and Dr. Rodney Ast) and was previously appointed on the ARC funded Discovery Project ‘Forging antiquity: Authenticity, Forgery and Fake Papyri’ (ARC DP 120103738, 2017–2019, under A/Prof. M. Choat and Dr. R. Ast) in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University. Her main research interests converge on questions about how knowledge is created, shared, and preserved by communities. Her doctoral work (Historical Lexicology and the Origins of Philosophy: Herodotus’ use of philosopheinsophistes and cognates, Macquarie University) examined the way developments in word use reflect emerging communities.

As an ancient historian who works on papyrus manuscripts, she has pursued her interests by looking at scribal practice in a range of domains. She has worked on the mechanics of how scribes reproduced and edited texts, what manuscripts can tell us when we look beyond the level of content to their format, script, and layout about the communities that produced and used them, and how authenticity is cultivated and signalled by particular scribal choices. She has experience working on several papyrological projects focused on scribes, readers, the reception of manuscripts, and the creation of canons. She has worked on the ARC funded projects ‘Papyri from the Rise of Christianity in Egypt’ and ‘Knowledge Transfer and Administrative Professionalism in a Pre-Typographic Society’.

She has received funding for a number of projects on magical papyri including ‘Reading Content and Format in the Greek Magical Papyri from Roman Egypt’ (Australian Academy for the Humanities Travelling Fellowship, 2014) and ‘Authority and Artefact: Magic, scripture and administration in papyrus manuscripts from Graeco-Roman Egypt’ (Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Early Christianity, Macquarie University, 2016) and is currently working on a re-edition of PGM XIII in collaboration with Richard Gordon, under the direction of Sofía Torallas Tovar, Christopher Faraone, and Janet Johnson (https://neubauercollegium.uchicago.edu/faculty/magical_knowledge/).

In addition to these interests, she is also pursuing cross disciplinary work on intersubjectivity and historical practice, memory and cognition, the history and reception of psychoanalysis, microhistory as well as cultural heritage and the history of ancient history itself. In these domains she has explored questions about the rights of the dead, what constitutes cultural continuity, how selfhood is constructed, why privacy matters and how it relates to intimacy: that is, how and why we connect or fail to connect with others.

First with Professor Malcolm Choat and Lauren Dundler, and then with Dr Margie Borschke, she has run the interdisciplinary seminar series, Markers of Authenticity, within the Faculty of Arts in Macquarie University from 2016 on. The seminar's past events and talks can be seen here: https://markersofauthenticity.com/

She is also committed to developing guidelines for the ethical pursuit of ancient world studies. A preliminary code of ethics was drafted together with Malcolm Choat, Lauren Dundler, and Richard Bott, and presented to the 41st Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies in Dunedin (2020). It can be viewed here: https://markersofauthenticity.com/ethics/. She is on the advisory board of the monograph series Papyrotheke: Testi e studi di papirologia e cultura scrittoria antica (ISSN 2612-3649) 

Education/Academic qualification

Ancient History, PhD, Macquarie University

Award Date: 31 Jul 2013


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