Call for Papers: Tales of Discovery, Provenance and Goats Gone Missing: Dead Sea Scrolls and the Media

The Lying Pen of Scribes Conference —  4–6 May 2022

Date: 4 – 6 May 2022

Location: MF Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society in Oslo

Contact: Liv Ingeborg Lied

From the time of their discovery, the Dead Sea Scrolls have occupied a prominent place in media discourse, becoming icons in public consciousness. The narratives surrounding the scrolls – discovery stories, provenance tales, and legends of goats, villains and heroes – have captivated audiences and shrouded the scrolls in mystery. However, the frequent reiteration of these narratives also illustrates the complex relationship that exists between the public dissemination of academic storytelling and the molding forces of media frames. This relationship has over time generated marked consequences for the public perception of and audience engagement with the scrolls. Additionally, the appearance of forged Dead Sea Scrolls-like fragments since the late 1990s has highlighted the ethical challenges faced by scholars and media alike, prompting a vital discussion of the media’s role in reporting on provenance.

This conference will broaden the discussions surrounding the media history of the Dead Sea Scrolls, religious journalism/journalism on religion, public scholarship and media ethics—with a particular focus on media dissemination of find- and provenance narratives, as well as reporting on manuscript forgeries.


Keynote speakers include: Jodi Magness, Anne Kreps, Mia Lövheim, Matthew Collins, Nikolai Melamed Kleivan and Anders Firing Lunde.


We invite paper proposals focused on:

  • Media history, both early reports and contemporary presentations
  • Scroll stories, their ethical implications, and narrative features
  • Religious news reporting versus other media reports
  • Effects and/or characteristics of the media’s coverage of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Advantages and challenges of public scholarship
  • Social media pertaining to the Dead Sea Scrolls

The proposal should include the paper title, an abstract, and your full name and affiliation.


We are offering two travel stipends of 10 000 NOK for partial coverage of travels and subsistence cost to junior scholars, scholars who are currently unemployed or who do not have travel funds. Please, note in your proposal whether you are applicable for the stipend.


Proposal deadline: 30 October, 2021

Contact: Liv Ingeborg Lied (

The conference is organized by Drs. Dana Ryan Lande and Liv Ingeborg Lied under the umbrella of the RCN-funded project The Lying Pen of Scribes: Manuscript Forgeries, Digital Imaging, and Critical Provenance Research.