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Call for Abstracts: "Global Feminism and the Classics"

CFP: WCC Sponsored Panel for SCS Annual Meeting 2019

Global Feminism and the Classics
Andrea Gatzke (SUNY-New Paltz) and Jeremy LaBuff (Northern Arizona University)

Global/transnational feminism is a framework that challenges the universalizing tendencies of Western feminism, and works toward a more expansive appreciation of the diversity inherent to the experiences of women and sexual minorities across the globe. It accomplishes this by taking into consideration the wide variation of cultural, economic, religious, social,  and political factors that differentially impact women in different places. Yet the potential utility of this concept to the discipline of classical studies remains largely untapped. For all of the modifications and corrections made to Foucault’s History of Sexuality, the Greco-Roman world’s position as ancestor to the Modern West too often frames how we situate the study of gender and sexuality in antiquity.  Global/transnational feminism offers ways to make the discipline more inclusive by transcending this ancient-modern comparison and further contextualizing classical phenomena through contemporary cross-cultural study and consideration of how gender and sexuality might intersect with other social categories like ethnicity or class. Such approaches can help us identify important connections and differences between distinct cultures, but perhaps more importantly, can serve to establish the value and limitations of the theories and methodologies we implement in studying gender and sexuality.

This panel seeks to provide a venue for advancing discussions of gender and sexuality in classical antiquity in both scholarship and the classroom through the lens of global/transnational feminism. Among the questions we hope to explore are:

  • How can we make fruitful comparisons between Greek and Roman constructions of gender and sexuality and those of other ancient societies, whether neighboring and interacting (e.g., Celtic, Egyptian, Persian) or disparate (China, Japan, South Asia, etc.)?
  • How might a global/transnational feminist approach help us and our students more critically compare ancient constructions of gender and sexuality to our own modern ones?
  • How might an emphasis on intersectionality complicate our understanding of the diverse experiences of women and sexual minority groups in antiquity?
  • How does Western feminism limit our ability to understand and analyze concepts of gender and sexuality in antiquity?
  • What does a global/transnational feminist approach mean for our relationship to the ancient past, more broadly conceived?

We solicit papers from both scholarly and pedagogical perspectives that consider the above and related questions regarding the study of gender and/or sexuality in the ancient world from a global/transnational perspective. 

Abstracts of ca. 450 words, suitable to a 15-20 presentation, should be sent as a .pdf file to Martha Teck (teckm@newpaltz.edu). Please do not identify yourself in any way in the abstract itself so that all submitted abstracts can be evaluated anonymously.  Please follow the formatting guidelines for abstracts that appear on the SCS website: https://classicalstudies.org/annual-meeting/guidelines-authors-abstracts.  All persons who submit abstracts must be SCS or AIA members in good standing, and all proposals must be received by March 19, 2018. Any questions about the panel should be directed to the organizers.

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