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Sex and Gender in Graeco-Roman Antiquity
Illinois Wesleyan University
Syllabus Spring, 1999
(acknowledgments to Prof. Laura McLure at UW Madison,
upon whose syllabus this was modeled!)
Instructor: Professor Nancy Sultan Tel. 556-3173 Buck 206 firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hrs: M-F 2-3 and by appointment. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime.
Course Description: This course examines issues of sex, sexuality, and gender in the ancient societies of Greece and Rome through the study of literature, art, and science. We will investigate the representation of gender cross-culturally over time to learn what we know, and what we can’t know, about the lives of ancient men and women, their interaction, communication and their roles in culture and society. Students will write several short essays throughout the term, make a scrapbook, and create a final research project of their own design, in consultation with the professor. Gen. Ed. CH, W Flag.
Required Texts: Since translations vary widely, please use only
the editions listed below.
Vergil, Aeneid, trans. R. Fitzgerald
Aristophanes, Wasps, The Poet & the Women, Frogs, trans. D. Barrett
Plato, Symposium, trans. Hamilton
Homer, Iliad, trans. R. Fagles
Foley, trans., The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (Princeton 1994)
Lind, trans., Ten Greek Plays
Hawley & Levick, eds., Women in Antiquity: New Assessments (WA)
Bing & Cohen, trans., Games of Venus (GV)
Fantham, Foley, Kampen, Pomeroy & Shapiro, eds. Women in the Classical World (WCR)
Fant & Lefkowitz, eds. Women’s Life in Greece & Rome (WLGR)
Xeroxes of Articles are on reserve at Sheean Library (see attached). Please do not remove them from the library or mark on them. You may make your own copy for marking.
Useful www Site http://titan.iwu.edu/~classics (IWU Classics HomePage)
Perseus 2.0 CD-ROM for Macintosh. Available in the ILC (Buck) on the four computers in the upper left deck in the back of the room. This program has more than its www companion (such as maps, and more pictures) and is often easier to use, especially for searching text.
HyperMyth for Macintosh. Also available on the four computers in the upper left deck in the ILC. This is a hypercard program on ancient Greek & Roman mythology. Has constellations, maps, biographies of gods/heroes and re-tells many of the most important myths.
Evaluation: 3 50-min. essay exams 20% each; 1 Perseus hypertext essay 20%; Annotated Scrapbook 20%
Ground Rules: It is essential that you attend class and participate in discussion regularly. You are allowed to miss three classes for whatever reason. After that, no matter what the reason, your final grade will be lowered by 2 points for each missed class. Late papers are docked one letter grade for each day late.
Grades: I always think in terms of a letter grade first and then assign an appropriate numerical equivalent My scale is: 100-93=A, 92-90=A-, 89-87=B+, 86-83=B, etc. Grades in this course are subjective and reflect the student’s whole effort, including improvements, over the course of the semester.
Organization: Reading assignments are to be completed before the next class. Meetings will be conducted as L/D (lecture/discussion). Each meeting a student will responsible for kicking off discussion with a set of prepared questions. Conversation can continue on the listserv set-up for the course.
Exams: There are three 50-minute blue book examinations. They will consist of essay and short answer, including terms and general chronology. When you read, take notes and track the major developments for comparison of Greece and Rome. Same goes for class discussion.
Scrapbook Project: With this project you will study how Graeco-Roman concepts of gender have shaped our contemporary views. You will examine issues of continuity and change in the Western idea of gender from antiquity to the present. How much have we inherited from the Greeks and Romans, what do we accept/reject from the legacy of Greece and Rome in terms of:
a) women’s lives, roles, laws b) categories of masculine and feminine in literature, politics, law, religion, medicine, art, popular media, or music
After you choose a topic for inquiry, you will collect material for a scrapbook in which you will annotate (explain/describe) each entry. Your scrapbook will address your single topic (for example, “women as sexual objects” or “men’s public spaces”) in pictures and words, comparing ancient and modern perceptions and attitudes. You may include newspaper/magazine clippings, CD liner notes, photographs, or other materials that illustrate your thesis. Your annotations must fully describe and explain all entries. Footnotes and bibliography should be included at the end.
During the Final Exam Period (2 hrs), you will briefly explain your scrapbook to the class and then the projects will be placed on tables for individual examination by the class, who will evaluate what they see on provided sheets.
NOTE: Students will have a chance to select one or two of the best scrapbooks for the poster session of the John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference
HyperText Essay: Hypertext is a webpage essay that makes use of the www through links. A clinic will be held to teach you how to compose such an essay if you are not familiar with the procedures. For this essay you will pick a topic of interest and create a 3-5 page essay using www links for footnotes, illustrations, and other pertinent information. A full bibliography is included at the end. Please consult the following URL for examples of the kind of hypertext essays I want: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/essays.html
We will gather together on April 5th and April 7th to view and evaluate the essays (place TBA)
Schedule of Meetings Reading assignments should be completed by the next class meeting.
Week 1: Introduction
Jan. 6 Course Introduction
Read for Next Time: S. Ortner, “Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture?” (2 copies on reserve at Sheean)
Jan. 8: The Bisexuality of Tiresias: Gender vs. Sex
Read: Katz, “Ideology & the ‘Status of Women’ in Ancient Greece,” WA 21-43
Jan. 11: Methodology & Source Materials for the Study of Gender
Read: Homer, Iliad Books 1 & 3
Jan. 13 Graeco-Roman Concepts Of Masculinity The Greek Hero & the Traffic in Women Read: Homer, Iliad Book 6
Jan. 15: The Greek Hero, cont.
Read: Vergil, Aeneid Books 1 & 4
Jan. 18: Masculinity & Political Identity at Rome
Read: Plato, Symposium
Jan. 20: Men's Drinking Parties
Read: Dover, “Classical Attitudes Toward Sexual Behavior” (xerox on reserve)
Jan. 22: Discussion of Dover in light of Plato
Read: Foley, trans., The Homeric Hymn to Demeter (and her interpretive essay)
Week 4 Women’s Sexuality And The Graeco-Roman Construction Of Female Identity
Jan. 25: Marriage, Motherhood & the Harvest Cycle: The Myth of Demeter
Read: WLGR pp. 10-37
Jan. 27: Greek Invective Against Women & the “Problem” with Wives
Read: Zeitlin, “Signifying Difference: The Myth of Pandora, “ WA 58-74
Jan. 29: Pandora = The Rest of Us?
Read: WLGR pp. 31-37; 135-139
Feb. 1: Roman Praise & Blame: Juvenal’s Sixth Satire & the Laudatio
Read: WLGR pp. 225-243 “Medicine: The ‘Proof” of Anatomy” in WCW 183-205
Feb. 3: Controlling the Female Body: Women in the Hippocratic Corpus
Read: King, “Self-Help, Self-Knowledge,” WA 135-148 WLGR 243-272
Feb.5: Galen, Soranus & Later Ideas About the Female Body
Feb. 8: First Hour Exam
Read: WCW 68-127 Walker, “Women & Housing in Classical Greece” (xerox on reserve)
Feb. 10: The Gender of Space: Concepts of Pubic & Private The Organization
of Space in the Greek Polis
Read: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata
Feb. 12 The City as Household: What Puts the Oikos in Oikonomikos?
Read: Rodgers, “Women’s Space in a Man’s house” (xerox on reserve) WLGR 196-203; 163-164
Feb. 15: The Well-ordered House: Greek Domestic Ideology & Women
Read: WCW 101-106
Feb. 17: An on-line visit to Olynthus, Greece: http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/siteindex?lookup=Olynthus&vers=3&word=olynthus Read: WCW 211-242 (Rome) Savunen, “Women & Elections in Pompeii,” WA 194-206
Feb. 19: Public & Private in the Roman House
Read: WLGR 55-83 Pomeroy, “Women’s Identity & the Family,” WA 111-121
Week 8 Social and Legal Aspects of Gender
Feb. 22: Marriage, Property, and Women in the Athenian polis
Read: Demosthenes’ Against Neaera, WLGR 73-82 (cf. 209-213) WCW 115-119
Feb. 24: The Legal Status of the Greek Hetaera
Read: WCW 260-277 WLGR 111-119; 142-157
Feb. 26: Women in Republican Rome
Read: WLGR 94-119, 181-196 Corbier, “Male Power & Legitimacy,” WA 178-193
Mar. 1 Augustus & the Enhanced Status of the Roman Matron
Read: WLGR 38-54 Lambropoulou, “Some Pythagorean Female Virtues” WA 122-134
Mar. 3 Ancient Philosophers on Female Virtue
Read: GV 71-81 WCW 15-18 Stehle, “Sappho’s Private World” (xerox on reserve)
Mar. 5 Discourses of Sexuality: Ancient Erotic Poetry A Female Voice: The Lyrics of Sappho Read: GV 53-59; 83-114; 197-215 Catullus 63 (xerox h.o.) Skinner, “Ego Mulier” (xerox on reserve)
Mar. 8: The Construction of Male Desire in Greek/Roman Erotic Poetry
Read: GV 233-275
Mar. 10 The Representation of Women in Latin Love Elegy
Mar. 12 2nd Hour Exam
Week 11 SPRING BREAK
Read: Aristophanes’ The Poet and the Women WLGR 280-281
Week 12 The Female in Greek Cult Worship
Mar. 22: Sex-segregated Festivals and Civic Religion in Athens
Read: Foxhall, “Women’s Ritual and Men’s Work in Ancient Athens,” WA 97-110
Mar. 24: Greek Women & Religion, cont.
Read: Euripides’ Bacchae
Mar. 26: Madwomen in Greece
Read: Padel, “Women: Model for Possession by Greek Daemons” (xerox on reserve)
Mar. 29: Women as threats to the Male Status Quo
Read: Sophocles’ Antigone
Mar. 31 Dangerous Voices: Greek Women’s Lamentation
Read: WCW 44-49, 76-79
Apr. 2: Ponos ‘Pain’ as Motivator of Women’s Public Honor
Apr. 5: Hypertext Essay Due: Meet To Review Pages (Buck 101)
Apr. 7: 2nd Meeting to Read Hypertext Essays (Buck 101)
Read: WLGR 283-285 GV 61-68
Apr. 9: Artemis & Female Rites of Passage in Ancient Greece
Read: WCW 12-15, 19-22 Cole, “The Social Function of Rituals of Maturation”
Apr.12: Becoming Man & Woman, cont.
Read: WLGR 288-291 WCW 234-237 Beard, “Re-reading (Vestal) Virginity,” WA 166-177
4 PM Humanities Lecture: “Ethnicity In The Ancient World: Classical Answers To Modern Problems” By Michael Maas, Rice University. Please attend this lecture. Extra credit will be given.
Apr. 14: The Cult of the Vestal Virgins at Rome
Apr. 16 3rd hour Exam
Week 16 Apr. 19: Open Meeting
FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATION WILL TAKE PLACE DURING THE TIME OF THE FINAL EXAM-- Mon, April 26, 1:15-3:15.