schedule of readings

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as she sees fit.

The only required text is Euripides I: Alcestis, Medea, The Children of Heracles, Hippolytus(ISBN: 0226308804); we will be reading this translation of Euripides’ Medea in weeks 4-5. All other readings will be provided, accessed online, or found in Mugar Library.

(wk 1) Tuesday 5th September
Introductions. What is antiquity? What is woman?

(wk 1) Thursday 7th September | Theoretical beginnings
Page duBois, “To Historicize Psychoanalysis.” Sowing the Body. Psychoanalysis and Ancient Representations of Women. 1988. pp. 7-17. [online access; HQ1127 .D83 1988]
— Gerda Lerner, “Origins.” The Creation of Patriarchy. 1986. pp15-36. [online access; HQ1121.L47 1986]

(wk 2) Tuesday 12th September | Epic Heroines Antagonists?
— Helen in the Iliad, Helen in the Odyssey [handout]
Sarah Pomeroy, “Women in the Bronze Age and Homeric Epic.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp16-31. [online access; Mugar HQ 1134.P64]
— optional: Listen to MythTake podcast episode 16 Heroes at Home: Helen of Troy, (also on itunes, google play) discussing Euripides’ Trojan Women lines 914-965
optional: bell hooks, “Honesty: Be True to Love” All About Love pp31-51.

text report: Iliad Bk 3.167-195 = pp133-134 (“And with those words…” to “but Priam, raising his voice, called across to Helen.”)

(wk 2) Thursday 14th September | Archaic Greece: Woman as gift, woman as curse.
Homeric Hymn to Demeter, trans. by Gregory Nagy [online access]
“Women in Archaic Greece: Talk in Praise and Blame.” Women in the Classical World. pp. 10-55. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]
Page duBois, “Field.” Sowing the Body. pp. 39-64. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.D83 1988]

text report: Homeric Hymn to Demeter lines 97-117 (“Until, one day…” to ” welcome you in word and in deed.”)

(wk 3) Tuesday 19th September | The Singer
— Sappho; selections from Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho. 2002. [PA4408.E5 C37 2002]
Alcman’s “Louvre partheneion”, trans. by Gregory Nagy [online access]
— Eva Cantarella, “Women and Homosexuality.” Bisexuality in the Ancient World. 2002. pp78-93. [HQ76.2.R6 C3613 1992]
— Page duBois, “Fragmentary Introduction.” Sappho is Burning. 1995. pp1-30. [Mugar PA4409.D8 1995]
optional: Charlotte Higgins on the new fragments of Sappho, 29th Jan. 2014 [online access]
— optional: Listen to BBC Radio 4’s In Our Time episode on Sappho.

text report: Sappho 31 (pp62-65)
object report: Fragment of Sappho papyrus, fr. 5 (P. Lond. Lit. 43, 3rd c. BCE: image online), with Peter Toth’s “The Mystery of Sappho” (8th July 2017) on the British Library blog.

(wk 3) Thursday 21st September | Classical Athens: delineated spaces
Lysias 1 On the Murder of Eratosthenes translated by Caroline L. Faulkner [online access, Diotima]
Sarah Pomeroy, “Women and the City of Athens.”; “Private Life in Classical Athens.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp57-78; 79-92. [online access; Mugar HQ 1134.P64]
“Women in Classical Athens: Heroines and Housewives.” Women in the Classical World. pp68-127. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]

text report: Lysias 10-14 (“From that time, then…” to “without a word.”)
object report: Epinetron (c. 420 BCE): Athens, Nat. Arch. Museum 1629. (Women in the Classical World p101, fig. 3.15) [image online,]

(wk 4) Tuesday 26th September | Medea i
Euripides’ Medea lines 1-662 (pp73-99)

> text report: lines 230-251 (p82)
> text report: lines 522- 551 (p94)

(wk 4) Thursday 28th September |Medea ii
— Euripides’ Medea lines 663-end (pp100-133)

text report: lines 1081-1116 (pp118-119)
text report: lines 1323-1350 (pp128-129)

(wk 5) Tuesday 3rd October | Medea iii
— Discussion of the play in its entirety; class prep for paper writing, prep for midterm
Oliver Taplin, “Medeia.” Pots & Plays. 2007. pp114-125 [online access; Mugar NK4645.T377 2007]

object report: Lucanian calyx-krater, c. 400 BCE [Cleveland Museum of Art 1991.1]; Taplin fig. 35 p122f.

(wk 5) Thursday 5th October | The female body i
Lesley Dean-Jones, “Medicine: The ‘Proof’ of Anatomy.” Women in the Classical World. pp183-205. [online access; Mugar HQ1127.W652 1994]
— Mary Lefkowitz, “The Wandering Womb.” Heroines and Hysterics. 1981. pp12-25. [Mugar PA3016.W7 L4 1981b]

text report: Galen On the Usefulness of the Parts of the Body 14.6 = Lefkowitz-Fant #351
> object reportso-called “Votive Womb”, with Helen King’s “When is a womb not a womb?” (2017) on

(wk 6) Tuesday 10th October | Columbus day — class cancelled 

(wk 6) Tuesday 10th October | The female body ii

— J. P. V. D. Balsdon, ch 11 “Less Reputable Women.” Roman Women: Their History and Habits. 1962. pp224-234. [Mugar DG91.B3 1975]
— Thomas McGinn, ch 6 “Prostitution: Controversies and New Approaches.” A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities. 2014. pp83-101. [online access]
— Gerda Lerner, ch 6 “Veiling the Woman.” The Creation of Patriarchy. 1986. pp123-140. [online access; HQ1121 .L47 1986]
youtube video tour of the “Purpose-built Brothel” at Pompeii
 optional: Sarah Levin-Richardson, “Modern Tourists, Ancient Sexualities: Looking at Looking in Pompeii’s Brothel and the Secret Cabinet.” Pompeii in the Public Imagination from its Rediscovery to Today. 2011. [online access]

object report: the “Purpose built” Lupanar at Pompeii (cf.

(wk 7) Tuesday 17th October | MIDTERM

(wk 7) Thursday 19th October | no class

(wk 8) Tuesday 24th October1st paper due |
— John Berger, “Ways of Seeing” episode 2 (youtube 28:27)

(wk 8) Thursday 26th October House & Home — Marriage & Divorce
— Susan Treggiari, “Divorce Roman Style: How Easy and How Frequent was it?” Marriage, Divorce, and Children in Ancient Rome. 1991. pp31-46. [Mugar HQ511 .M37 1996]
Sarah Pomeroy, “The Roman Matron.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. 1975. pp149-189. [online access; Mugar HQ 1134.P64]
A. Glazebrook, K. Olson ch 5 “Greek and Roman Marriage.” A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities. 2014. pp69-82. [online access]

>text report: Sallust’s portrait of Sempronia (The War with Catiline, 25) = Pomeroy pp171-72.

(wk 9) Tuesday 31st October | Catullus’ Lesbia
— Selections from Catullus [handout]
J. Hallett, “The Role of Women in Roman Elegy: Counter-Cultural Feminism.” Women in the Ancient World: The Arethusa Papers. 1984. pp241-262. [online access]

>text report: poems 51 (LI, Lee pp50-51)  

(wk 9) Thursday 3rd November | Cicero’s Clodia
— Cicero, Pro Caelio; notes and translation by D. H. Berry [handout]
M. McCoy, “The Politics of Prostitution.” Prostitutes and Courtesans in the Ancient World. 2006. pp177-185. [online access]

>text reportPro Caelio 33-34

(wk 10) Tuesday 7th November | Cult & Ritual at Rome — Vestal Virgins
— On the execution of the chief Vestal, Cornelia, in 90 CE: Suetonius, Life of Domitian 8.3-5; Pliny Ep. 4.11.5-16; Dio Cassius, 67.3; Philostratus, Life of Apollonius, 7.6. [handout]
Sarah Pomeroy, “The Role of Women in the Religion of the Romans.” Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves. pp205-226. [online access; HQ1134.P64]
J. Larson,  ch 13 “Sexuality in Greek and Roman Religion.” A Companion to Greek and Roman Sexualities. 2014. pp214-229. [online access]
— J. P. V. D. Balsdon, ch 12 “Holy Women, Religious Women and Divine Women.” Roman Women: Their History and Habits. 1962. pp235-251. [DG91.B3 1975]

text report: treatment of the Vestals by literary sources

(wk 10) Thursday 9th November | On Being Seen
— selections from Ovid’s Amores and Ars Amatoria [handout]
Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Screen 16 (1975) republished in Feminisms REDUX (eds. Warhol-Down, Price Herndl). 2009. 432-442. [online access]

text report: pick a poem of your choosing

(wk 11) Tuesday 14th NovemberCleopatra — the impossible queen
— Propertius, 3.11, 4.6; Horace Epode 9, Ode 1.37; Virgil, Aeneid 8.626f; Lucan 10.53f., Plutarch, Life of Mark Antony 25f.; Pliny, NH 9.119-121. [handout]
Maria Wyke, “Meretrix regina: Augustan Cleopatras.” The Roman Mistress. 2002. pp195-243. [online access; Mugar PA6029.L6 W95 2002]
— Shelley P. Halley, “Black Feminist Thought and Classics: Re-membering, Re-claiming, Re-empowering.” Feminist Theory and the Classics. 1993. pp23-43. [PA35.F46 1993]
optional: Numismatist Kevin Butcher on Cleopatra’s coin portraits, “The face of Cleopatra: was she really so beautiful?” 

> text report: pick a passage of your choosing
special report: review Shelley Halley’s “Black Feminist Thought and Classics”

(wk 11) Thursday 16th November Women Writing
R. S. Bagnall, R. Cribiore, E. Ahtaridis, ch 2 “Why Women’s Letters?” Women’s letters from ancient Egypt. 300 BCE – AD 800. 2008. [online access]

> object report: pick a letter from the collection

(wk 12) Tuesday 21st Novemberreception of women in antiquity
 Rita Dove’s Mother Love (1995) [online access]; [Mugar PS3554.O884 M68 1995]  
selections from Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife (1999) [handout / Mugar PR6054.U38 W67 1999]
W. W. Cook and J. Tatum, ch 8 “Rita Dove and the Greeks.” African American Writers of Classical Tradition. 2010. pp311-375, esp. pp346-375. [online access]
 L. Yorke, “British Lesbian Poetics: A Brief Exploration.” Feminist Review. 62. 1999. pp78-90. [online access]

text report: Rita Dove “II.” (p25-26)
text report: Carol Ann Duffy — “from Mrs Tiresias” (pp14-17)

(wk 12) Thursday 23rd Novemberno class, Thanksgiving

(wk 13) Tuesday 28th November | in-class screening: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Medea 1969

(wk 13) Thursday 30th Novemberin-class screening: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Medea 1969

(wk 14) Tuesday 5th December | discussion of Pasolini’s Medea 
— Colleen Marie Ryan, “Salvaging the Sacred: Female Subjectivity in Pasolini’s Medea.” Italica, Vol. 76, No. 2. 1999. pp193-204. [online access]
— Susan Shapiro, “Pasolini’s Medea: A Twentieth‐Century Tragedy.” Ancient Greek Women in Film. 2013. [online access]

(wk 14) Thursday 7th December | workshop final paper topics

(wk 15) Tuesday 12th December | 2nd paper due class project