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  • Author or Editor: Mika Ahuvia x
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This article argues that recent scholarship on premodern composition can help to reconceptualize the presence of diverse people, including enslaved women, in scribal spaces. A brief historiographic section reviews how scholars have imagined normative Jews to be elite literate men, neglecting evidence of dictation to scribes, and thus excluded evidence of lower-class women especially from their imagining of the past. Applying Wendy Doniger’s rejection of the category of the singular male author in religious texts to Jewish texts, it proposes a heuristic tool to identify women’s presence and perspectives in ancient prose, liturgical, and ritual texts. Finally, it analyzes four incantation bowls as test-cases of this approach. For every text produced by a scribe, scholars ought to imagine a dynamic compositional environment with at least two people, and they can look for evidence of inclusion and exclusion of perspectives based on religious markers, class status, and gendered concerns.

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism