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Growing up Motherless in Antiquity: A Conference on Mother Absence in the Ancient Mediterranean - 26

The last forty years have witnessed a vast reclamation project in ancient history, as scholars have worked to recover the lives of historically muted groups, particularly those of women and children. The result is an impressive body of work collecting the traces ancient women and children have left behind, as well as a sophisticated epistemology of the biases, gaps, and silences in the historical record. From this perspective, the absence of ancient mothers has represented an ineluctable reality and a methodological hurdle, but rarely a subject of study in its own right. Yet the evidence suggests that mother absence was not merely a secondary artifact of bias or artistic and historiographical conventions; it was also a primary condition of antiquity, one whose root causes, social articulations, and psychological effects have never been fully described or explored, even as it had a profound effect on ancient family life and the experience of childhood.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 26-27-28/05/2016

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Basel (Basel, Switzerland)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner (Universität Basel) - Dr. David M. Ratzan (New York University)

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THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2016 15:30 SABINE R . HUEBNER (Basel ): Welcome and Introductory remarks PANEL 1: DEMOGRAPHY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES 16:00 TOSHA DUPRAS (Central Florida): Maternal mortality and orphans: A bioarchaeological assessment of growing up motherless in ancient Egypt 16:30 CHRISTIAN LAES (Antwerp / Tampere): Crucial and vital decisions: Caring for infants after mother’s death in childbed 17:00 DAVID M. RATZAN (New York University): The economics and outsourcing of ancient mother-work 17:30 General Discussion 18:00 Reception at Departement für Altertumswissenschaften (“Rosshof”), Petersgraben 51 FRIDAY, MAY 27, 2016 PANEL 2: THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE 9:30 RENÉ BLOCH (Bern): Moses: Motherless with two mothers 10:00 SARIT KATTAN GRIBETZ (Fordham): Mourning for mother: The topography of mother absence in rabbinic literature and piyyut 10:30 General Discussion 11:00 Coffee Break PANEL 3: THE GREEK EXPERIENCE 11:30 FIONA McHARDY (Roehampton): The risk of violence towards motherless children in ancient Greece 12:00 ROSALIA HATZILAMBROU (Athens): Being motherless in classical Athens: The evidence of Attic forensic oratory 12:30 Lunch 14:00 ANGELIKI TZANETOU (Illinois, Urbana-Champaign): Motherly absence in Euripides’ reunion plays 14:30 SUSANNE MORAW ( Jena): Absent mothers by choice: Upper class women in classical Attic vase painting 15:00 General Discussion 15:30 Coffee Break PANEL 4: ROMAN REALITIES 16:00 SABINE R . HUEBNER (Basel ): The last will of Alcestis: Motherless children and their widowed fathers in Roman Egypt 16:30 JUDITH EVANS GRUBBS (Emory): A long way from home: Motherless children in slave sale contracts 17:00 VÉRONIQUE DASEN (Fribourg ): Who cares for motherless children? Wet nursing in the Roman world 17:30 General Discussion 20:00 Dinner SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2016 PANEL 5: ROMAN REPRESENTATIONS 10:00 ELINA PYY (St. Andrews): Growing up motherless, growing up to be a hero: Motherless children in Virgil’s Aeneid 10:30 MARGHERITA CARUCCI: The journey of a motherless child in the decoration of the Roman house 11:00 SANNA JOSKA (Tampere): Motherless empire? The Antonine dynasty, imperial children, and imperial policy at the death of Faustina the Elder 11:30 General Discussion 12:00 Lunch PANEL 6: LATE ANTIQUITY 13:30 GEOFFREY NATHAN (New South Wales): The wicked stepmother in late antique imperial politics: A reevaluation 14:00 MARIA DOERFLER (Duke): Wayward mothers, saintly children: Late ancient reading strategies in pursuit of the absent parent 14:30 Discussion 15:00 DAVID M. RATZAN (New York University): Closing remarks

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