Roberta Mazza was born in Rome and obtained a PhD in papyrology at the University of Bologna. She now teaches papyrology and Graeco-Roman Egypt at the University of Manchester, and has published several articles on papyrology as well as an academic book. She co-curated an exhibition of papyri, portraits and Egyptian contemporary art at the John Rylands Library in 2012 and is honorary curator of the Graeco-Roman Egypt antiquities of the Manchester Museum. Her research has been covered by the Guardian, the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal and The Times, and she has been interviewed by BBC Radio 4 on various topics.
Recently, she found herself at the centre of an international scandal when she discovered that an eminent Oxford academic in charge of one of the world’s most prestigious collections of ancient papyri had been responsible for the illicit sale of unpublished fragments from that collection to private collectors. The scandal eventually caught the attention of the Metropolitan Police and the FBI, revealing a shocking overlap between academia and international crime, and raising important questions about the ethics of collecting. Roberta is contracted with production company Raw and The Guardian to consult and appear on a TV documentary series about the theft.
The Secret Life of Manuscripts is forthcoming from Stanford University Press.
Agent: Doug Young