Rice Seminar Conference: “Valuing Forgery: Ancient Rome between Authenticity and Fraud”

Thursday, February 21, 2019 to Friday, February 22, 2019

As an activity and a concept, forgery is immediately controversial. It calls to mind illegal, unethical, and dishonest practice, and it stirs debates over authenticity, value, authorship, and meaning.

How, for example, can fresh perspectives on intention and meaning shift discourse on the perceived intellectual and financial value of a forged work of art? What might theories of culturally and historically determined authorship change about our understanding of the origin, creation, and function of a forged text? When is a perceived forgery not, in fact, a forgery – fraudulent, diminished, even tainted – and instead a creative act of impersonation?  

The papers delivered at this conference will seek to address these questions and more.