NeMLA 2021 Session: Ancient Herstory: Women and Gender in Antiquity and Beyond

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Claire Sommers/Washington University in St. Louis
contact email: 

In his Funeral Oration, Pericles illustrates the low status of women in ancient Athens, saying “A woman’s reputation is highest when men say little about her, whether it be good or evil.” Despite Pericles’ admonition, women held a central place in Classical literature and mythology, which cast them in a diverse array of roles: goddesses, slaves, mothers, daughters, virgins, whores, and warriors. These depictions laid the groundwork for the representations of women in subsequent literature and have continued to shape our understanding of gender. This session will explore depictions of women and gender in Greco-Roman texts and its impact on the literature of subsequent periods. Possible approaches include by are not limited to:

· Depictions of women in Classical poetry and literature

· Women in Greco-Roman mythology

· Women in ancient philosophical and political thought

· Women in Classical scientific and medical texts

· Historical women of the ancient world

· Ancient representations of women and contemporary gender theory

· Women in ancient comedy and tragedy

· Ancient women in post-Classical literature


Please submit a 300 word abstract and 100 word bio by September 30, 2020. You will need to create an user account through the NeMLA website in order to submit an abstract. Contact Claire Sommers ( with any questions. NeMLA will take place March 11-14, 2021.