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CLAS & WMST 266/366:

Gender, Power & the Gods

Tuesday/Thursday 2-3:20pm Meneely 306

Course Description
This course examines what we know about the lives of woman (and men) from the Classical period through Late Antiquity. Using a wide-variety of ancient literature, scholarship and material culture, together we will reconstruct and (re)describe the ancients socio-cultural environment and practiceswith particular attention paid to how religious practices (the gods) were integral to their understandings of the natural world, natural law (power) and the self. Our syllabus is structured so that we will follow the life cycle (birth-to-death) of a Roman woman, throughout continually considering the question: what was it like to be a woman in antiquity? In order to achieve the goal of beginning to answer this question, each student will have the option of taking on the character of an ancient Roman woman for the purposes of the response papers and final (see Course Requirements below). Students taking this course at the 200-level have no prerequisites. For those taking this course at the 300-level, you must have had a previous 200-level Classics course under your belt. All texts will be read in translation. This course will meet for 1hr 20mins., twice a week, for lecture and discussion. 300- level students will meet separately with me for additional time (TBD). There will also be an onCourse site and discussion board for this class.


Course Goals and Objectives

The goal of this course is to introduce you to the ancient world, daily life and religious practices through the lens of what we know about ancient women. Through our work together, you will have the opportunity in this course to learn to: ! critically analyze scholarly texts and material data ! improve your research, academic writing and communication skills ! develop a creative individual research project that makes an original contribution to the field and/or assemble a portfolio of academic/creative writing assignments

Instructor Information
Robyn Faith Walsh walsh_robyn@wheatoncollege.edu Office: Knapton 215 508-286-3699 Office hours: Tues. 11-2 and by appointment or Skype I strongly encourage you to come visit during my office hours if you have any questions or concerns.

Course Requirements
Attendance and Participation (20%): You are expected to come to all class meetings prepared to discuss the assigned readings and to participate actively in any in-class activities and/or discussion with your questions and ideas. We will also have a discussion board on onCourse. I will check this forum frequently, so please feel free to post questions, concerns and to talk to one another. Extra credit will be assessed for those who are active participants online (as well as in the classroom). Response Papers (25%): You are required to submit 7 short response papers throughout the semester, in advance of the class for which the paper is written. These papers are an opportunity for you to reflect on the topic of the week, the readings and for you to put forth some discussion questions for the class. You are free to choose the weeks for which you will write a paper (limit 1 per week), but you must complete at least 3 before mid-semester. You may write these papers from a purely objective scholarly perspective, or from the perspective of an ancient woman. More details on this assignment will follow. Midterm (25%): A take home midterm will be handed out on Feb 20th in-class and will be due, in-class, on March 6th. It will consist of several short answers and an essay question. More details to follow. Final Project (30%): There are 4 options for your final. You are free to choose whichever option best caters to your learning style and strengths: 1) Research Paper: A !10-15 pp. (aprox. 3000-4500 words) research paper on a subject of your design, in consultation with me. This option will also require approval in advance via a research proposal. This option is strongly recommended for Ancient Studies, Classics and Religious Studies majors. 300-level students are required to write a research paper.

2) Special Project: If you have a creative idea for a relevant project related to your major, come see me. Similar to the research paper, this will require a proposal in advance and close consultation with me along the way. Some examples of an appropriate final project might include an art study, creative writing, interviewing notable scholar, translation and commentary, and so on. 3) A traditional final, held during finals week. It will consist of short answers, matching and/or multiple choice and two short essays. 4) A biography of your female character that uses the course materials to describe the course of her life and various experiences More detailed information on each of these assignments will follow.

Finally, please feel free to openly discuss these course requirements, readings and assessments with me if you have other ideas, feel that a particular kind of assignment is useful, helpful or, on the other side of the coin, overly difficult. While we must have fair and thorough assessments in this course in order for me to give you the appropriate grades, this is ultimately your course and I want to work with you to make it practical, constructive and enjoyable!

Grading Policies & Other Matters

" If you submit work after set deadlines, without having made (and confirmed) prior arrangements with me, you should expect points deducted from that assignments final grade. Missed papers and exams will only be allowed to be made up in exceptional circumstances. " If you are unable to attend class for some reason, please contact me as soon as possible. Absences for which an official deans letter or health services note is provided will not count against your final grade. " You are expected to adhere to the Wheaton Honor Code. Violations of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action. " Student with any disabilities of which I should be aware, please contact me as soon as possible in order to make the appropriate arrangements. " Cell phones are to remain off at all times while class is in session. Laptops are permitted so long as it does not become clear that you are doing something other than our course work during class time.

Required Books & Other Course Materials

Given the nature of the design of this course, there is no one book that we will be reading in full. Therefore, the majority of our readings will be made available on onCourse. The following books, however, are particularly useful resources and you may wish to order them from Amazon or similar outlets:


Beard, North & Price, eds., Religions of Rome (Cambridge University Press, 1998). 2 vols. J. Clarke, Roman Sex: 100B.C. A.D. 250 (Abrams, 2003). Sarah Iles Johnston, ed., Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (Harvard University Press, 2004). A Companion to Women in the Ancient World, Sharon James & Shelia Dillon, eds. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). $$$ Ross Kraemer, Womens Religions in the Greco-Roman World: A Sourcebook (Oxford, 2004). Rachel P. Maines, The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Womens Sexual Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Trigger Warning: there are issues that will be raised in this course that could be difficult for some people. Among them are questions of sex and sexuality, including discussion of masturbation, homosexuality, pederasty, rape, violence and capital punishment, as well as some fairly explicit images from Greek and Roman art. I am prepared to help you think through these subjects and to offer you any support you may need to process them, including modifying the course materials on an individual basis (within reason). I am also more than happy to guide you through this course with the aid of the relevant mental and emotional health services on or outside of campus. Simply come speak to me. !

Weekly Readings & Assignments

Assigned readings include poetry, plays, inscriptions, novels, philosophical writings, as well as books and articles by contemporary scholars. All readings are required for each class meeting, unless otherwise specified. Recommended Readings are not required, but you may find them useful. Assigned readings should be completed before class. Please bring all readings with you to our sessions. ! ! ! !


! Thursday, January 23rd :

!!!!!!!!! Themes : timeline; how do we discuss gender in the ancient world? ! Welcome Back!

Week 1: Introduction to the Course

Today is devoted to a review of the syllabus and assignments and an overview of the course materials. However, you may find it helpful to glance at these readings:

J. Mikalson Greece in Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide, S. Iles Johnston, ed. (Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 210-219. J. North Rome in Religions of the Ancient World, pp. 225-232. ! !

Week 2: On the Generation of Animals: Ancient Physiology & Human Development

Themes: ancient discourses about female bodies, fetus development, medical treatments (including Asclepius cult) Tuesday, Jan 28 The Imperfect Male ! Primary Source on Aristotelian and Galilean physiology from K. Aughterson, Renaissance Woman: A Sourcebook (Routledge, 1995), pp. 41-48. H. Parker Women and Medicine in A Companion to Women in the Ancient World (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), pp. 107-124.


Jaill Raitt, The Vagina Dentata and the Immaculatus Uterus Divini Fontis, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 48:3 (1980), pp. 415-431. ! ! ! !

Thurs., Jan 30th C. Faraone, M. J. Adair

Therapeutic Solutions!

! Magical and Medical Approaches to the Wandering Womb, Classical Antiquity 30:1 (2011), pp. 1-32. Platos View of the Wandering Uterus, The Classical Journal 91:2 (1996), pp. 153-163.

R. P. Maines The Job Nobody Wanted in The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Womens Sexual Satisfaction (JHUP, 1999), pp. 1-20.

Jean Stengers & Anne Van Neck, Masturbation: The History of a Great Terror (Palgrave, 2001), selections. R. P. Maines, Female Sexuality as Hysterical Pathology, The Technology of Orgasm, pp. 21-47. A.E. Hanson, Your mother nursed you with bile: anger in babies and small children, Ancient Anger: Perspectives form Homer to Galen (Cambridge University Press, , pp. 185-207.

G. Sharp, Hysteria, the Wandering Uterus, and Vaginal Massage, Sociological Images (http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2013/03/13/hysteria-the-wanderinguterus-and-vaginal-massage/) Stanford University source page: The History of the Male and Female Genitalia (http://www.stanford.edu/class/history13/earlysciencelab/body/femalebodypage s/genitalia.html) ! !

Week 3: Childhood & the Household

Themes: family structure (paterfamilias), childhood in antiquity, Lares Tues., February 4

! Daddy Dearest & the Household Gods

Primary Sources: P. Oxy 744 A letter form husband to wife (handout); Rituals for Brides and Pregnant Women in the Worship of Artemis from R. Kraemer, Womens Religions in the Greco-Roman World (Oxford, 2004), p. 17. S. Iles Johnson Religious Practices of the Individual and Family: Greece and Rome, Religions of the Ancient World, pp. 433-436.

B. Levick Women and Law, A Companion to Women in the Ancient World (hereafter, CWAW), James & Dillon, eds. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), pp. 96-106. L. Holland Gendered Deities and Domestic Cult, pp. 210-212.
** We will eventually read this whole chapter, so feel free to look at pp. 204-214


S. B. Pomeroy, Marriage and the Married Woman in Athenian Law, Womens History & Ancient History (University of North Carolina Press, 1991), pp. 48-72. Thurs., Feb 6th: The Wives of God: Women & Myth-Building

Guest Lecturer: Andrew Tobolowsky (Brown University) B. Lincoln Theorizing Myth: Narrative, Ideology, and Scholarship (University of Chicago Press, 1999), TBD.

Other readings TBD! ! !

Week 4: First comes Love Marriage, then

Themes: puberty, marriage and societal expectation, death rates in pregnancy, contraception and abortion, love spells ! ! Tues., Feb 11th Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sugar is Sweet, Death is Inevitable L. Dean-Jones

Menarche and Defloration According to the Hippocratics and Aristotle in Womens Bodies in Classical Greek Science (Clarendon Press, 1994), pp. 47-54. My God, What Does She Want? in The Technology of Orgasm, pp. 48-66. (lectio interrupta pp. 48-56) Contraception & Abortion from the Ancient World to the Renaissance (Harvard University Press, 1992). Egyptian Papyrus Sources, pp. 66-73. Greek and Roman Medicine from Hippocrates to Galen, pp. 74-86.

R. Maines J. Riddle
* We may divide this primary source into sections to make the reading more manageable*



N. Denzey Lewis, The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women (Beacon, 2007), pp. 11-24. M.A. Liston, Reading the Bones: Interpreting the Skeletal Evidence for Womens Lives in Ancient Greece in A Companion to Women in the Ancient World, pp. 125-140. L. Danforth, The Death Rituals of Rural Greece (Princeton, 1982). on reserve @ library Thurs., Feb 13th She loves me, She loves me not

Apuleius, The Golden Ass, selections.

* We may divide these primary sources into sections to make the reading more manageable*

J. Gager C. Faraone

Sex, Love and Marriage Curse Tablets and Binding Spells from the Ancient World (Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 78-115. Spells for Inducing Uncontrollable Passion (Ers) Ancient Greek Love Magic (Harvard University Press, 1999), pp. 41-95. ! !

Week 5: Witchy Woman

Themes: curse tablets, cursing spells; dream interpretation, divining; spectacles and entertainments in the amphitheater (a day at the games) ! Tues., Feb 18th Black Magic? Euripides, Medea, selections. Beard, North & Price (hereafter BNP), Religions of Rome (CUP, 1998). Patrolling the unacceptable, pp. 228-236. Religious differentiation: skepticism, expertise and magic, pp. 149-156. S. Iles Johnson D. Frankfurter Divination and Prophecy in Religions of the Ancient World: A Guide (Harvard University Press, 2004), pp. 370-391. Fetus Magic and Sorcery Fears in Roman Egypt, Greek. Roman, and Byzantine Studies 46 (2006), pp. 37-62.



J. Rabinowitz, The Rotting Goddess: The Origin of the Witch in Classical Antiquity (Autonomedia, 1998), selections. Graft & Johnston, Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets (Routledge, 2007), selections. Thurs., Feb 20th Bergmann K. Coleman Moog, et al. A Day at the Games Introduction in The Art of Ancient Spectacle (Yale University Press, 1999), pp. 11-37. Fatal Charades: Roman Executions Staged as Mythological Enactments, Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990), pp. 73-88. Between Horror and Hope: Gladiators Blood as a Cure for Epileptics in Ancient Medicine, Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 12:2 (2003), pp. 137-143.


A. Curry, The Gladiator Diet: How to eat, exercise, and die a violent death, Archaeology (Nov/Dec 2008), pp. 89-91. Take-home Midterm handed out!!! ! !

Week 6: Women & the Gods

Themes: festivals involving women; mystery cults; Magna Mater; Maenads; self-castrating cults Tues., Feb 25th ! Womens Religion in Greece

Homeric Hymn to Demeter (from Ross Kraemers sourcebook) Athenian Decree for Eleusis (on onCourse) H. Foley Background: The Eleusinian Mysteries and Womens Rites for Demeter in The Homeric Hymn to Demeter: Translation, Commentary, and Interpretive Essays (Princeton, 1993), pp. 65-75.

J. Bremmer Greek Maenadism Reconsidered ZPE 55 (1984), pp. 267-286.


Thurs., Feb 27th Womens Religion in Rome ! Primary Source handout from Kraemers sourcebook L. Holland BNP B. Spaeth ! ! Women and Roman Religion, pp. 204-214. Rome and the outside world, pp. 156-166 The Roman Goddess Ceres (University of Texas Press, ! 1996), selections.
Kaela, we may need some penis bread!

Week 7: Midterm Workshop

Tues., March 4th ! Midterm Workshop/Review This class period will be used as a workshop to review our course materials to this point in the semester and, if need be, play a little catchup. I highly recommend, however, that you do not hold off on working on your Midterm until this class; rather, come to class with drafts of the Midterm and armed with questions. Consult classmates who have taken classes with me beforeyour take-home Midterm may look like a fluffy little puppy, but it is a wolf in disguise! (I say this to you lovingly and in the interest of your personal edification). Thurs., March 6th ! Take-home Midterm due!!! Handout on Guidelines for Final Paper/Project

Week 8: Freedom
! March 10-14 Spring Break! ! ! ! ! !


Week 9: Cult of the Vanities

Themes: ideals of female beauty in antiquity; cultural trends (e.g., Egyptomania); Imperial worship as beauty concept Tues., March 18th ! Concepts of Beauty Guest Lecturer: Robin McGill (Brown University)

Ovid, Ars Amatoria & Medicamina Faciei Femineae Other readings TBD!
** We may also take a field trip to the Wheaton College Permanent Collection Vault! ** RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING (optional):

S. Dillon, Female Portraiture in the Hellenistic Period in A Companion to Women in the Ancient World, pp. 263-277. E. Bartman, Early Imperial Female Portraiture in A Companion to Women in the Ancient World, pp. 415-422. Walker, ed., Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt (Routledge, 2000).

There is a hair archaeologist named Janet Stephens who recreates Greek and Roman hairstyles online (youtube). You might find what she does interesting! Below is a link to Flavian-Trajanic Hairstyles and it will link you to her other demonstrations. http://youtu.be/Vs9fLwm-9-k Thurs., March 20th P. Rehak Pappalardo Imperial Cult Imperium & Cosmos: Augustus and the Northern Campus Martius (UW Press, 2009), selections. The Splendor of Roman Wall Painting (Arsenale-Editrice, 2009), selections.

Take another look at the Holland reading on Women and Roman Religion. ! ! !


Week 10: sex & Same Love in Ancient World*

Themes: gender constructions and power dynamics in antiquity; depictions of sex in ancient art; homosexuality; Bacchae Tues., March 25th K.L. Dover ! Ers & Porneia Classical Greek Attitudes to Sexual Behavior in Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World: Readings and Sources (Blackwell, 2002), pp. 19-36
(NB: pp. 34-36 are an excerpt from Platos Symposium)

J. Clarke

Roman Sex: 100B.C. A.D. 250 (Abrams, 2003).

** I suggest we break the class into groups, with each group taking a chapter of this book to present to the rest of the class. More on this later.


D. Halperin, Why is Diotima a Woman? in One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: and Other Essays on Greek Love (Routledge, 1990), pp. 113-211. link to Diotimas speech: http://www.stoa.org/diotima/anthology/sem_7.shtml J. Clarke, The Cultural Construction of Sexuality & Greek & Hellenistic Constructions of Lovemaking, Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C. A.D. 250 (UCP, 1998), pp. 7-55. J. P. Hallett & M.B. Skinner, eds., Roman Sexualities (Princeton University Press, 1997), selections. Thurs., March 27th Spiritual Children

Sappho, selections. B. Brooten Love Between Women (University of Chicago Press, 1996), selections from Part One: Female Homoeroticism in the Roman World: The Cultural Context of Early Christianity, pp. 29-186 & illustrations. Desires Hunger and Plato the Regulator, The Making of Fornication: Eros, Ethics and Political Reform in Greek Philosophy and Early Christianity (UCP, 2003), pp. 23-58
* yes, that is a Macklemore reference

K. Gaca

!! !


Week 11: Christianity, Conversion & the Later Empire

Themes: gender constructions in early Christian literature; reimagining gender in later, monastic sources Tues., April 1st The Emergence of Christianity

Nag Hammadi Library, selections. The Acts of Paul & Thecla


J. Eyl, Why Thekla Does Not See Paul: Visual Perception and the Displacement of Eros in the Acts of Paul and Thekla, Proceedings from the International Conference on the Ancient Novel (2012), pp. 1-17. Final Proposals due!!! Thurs., Ap 3rd Marys Perpetual Virginity Readings TBD! ! ! Guest Visitor: Robin McGill

Week 12: War, Death & Taxes

Themes: funerary habit in the ancient world; concepts of death and dying; the threat of war; responses to imperialism (Greek and Roman); chthonic gods Tues., Ap 8th The Trojan Women

Euripides, The Trojan Women, selections. Guest Visitor: David Fox, Professor of Theater and director of the current Wheaton production of The Trojan Women Thurs., Ap 10th Who You Gonna Call..?

Aristophanes, Lysistrata (selections) Sophocles, Antigone (selections) !


D. Ogden

Tombs & Battlefields Greek & Roman Necromancy (Princeton, 2001), pp. 3-16. ! !

Week 13: The (Modern) Damsel in Distress

Themes: interpreting gender/the role of women and antiquity in modern media culture (video games and movies); contemporary constructions of womanhood ! Tues., Ap 15th K. Day Antiquity, Women & Contemporary Media Culture Soul Fuck: Possession and the Female Body in Antiquity and in Cinema Screening Love & Sex in the Ancient World, Monica S. Cyrino, ed. (Palgrave, 2013), pp. 85-98. Damsel in Distress (Part I-III) Tropes vs. Women, Feminist Frequency: Conversations with Pop Culture (feministfrequency.com/2013/03/damsel-indistress-part-1/) (23:35) link on onCourse
**The link above is to Part I, which will then lead you to parts II and III. Part I is the most important, but please try to watch all.

A. Sarkeesian

NB: CLAS and WMST are current working on bringing Anita Sarkeesian to campus this week. More details to follow. Thurs., Ap 17th Orenstein ! ! Gender & Consumerism Whats Wrong with Cinderella Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture (HarperCollins, 2011), pp. 11-32.

Week 14: Final Project Preparation

! Tues., Ap 22nd Thurs., Ap 24th ! ! Free Day! (hope the weather is nice!) Scheduled one-on-ones with Professor re: final projects !


Week 15: Final Project Presentations

Tues., Ap 29th Thurs., May 1st ! ! Student Presentations I Student Presentations II !

Important Dates & Assignments

! Three response papers by March 6th ! Take-home Midterm due March 6th ! Final paper/project proposal due by end of March ! Seven (total) response papers due by end of semester ! Final paper/project due by end of exam period or traditional exam on pre-scheduled day !

Syllabus image taken from Shorpy.com