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CALL. 15.05.2016: Hierarchy and Equality – Representations of Sex/Gender in the Ancient World - Athe



LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: The Norwegian Institute at Athens (Athens, Greece)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Professor Jorunn Økland ; Dr. Lene O. Johannessen ; PhD-candidate Reinert Skumsnes ; PhD-candidate Anders Martinsen

INFO: web -


The conference will gather scholars to revisit and renew models and understandings of textual, visual and material representations of sex/gender in the ancient world. The conference is organised by the Norwegian Institute at Athens in collaboration with the Centre for Gender Research, University of Oslo.

Time and place: Sep 11, 2016 - Sep 13, 2016, The Norwegain Institute at Athens, Greece

The 1990’s saw a surge in studies on ancient models of sex/gender (including sex, gender, sexuality, the body, hierarchy/equality etc), informed by post-structuralism, feminist theory, and especially the work of Thomas Laqueur and Michel Foucault. More recently, phenomenology has inspired a more material approach in search of lived experience and agency. We ask if these basic parameters for studying sex/gender in the ancient world still hold? In which ways and to which extent have later developments in theories of sex/gender been absorbed and elaborated by scholars of the ancient world? Do the changes in modern understandings of sex/gender, for instance the surge in biological and cognitive approaches or the increased interest in structural issues of equality and inequality, affect our interpretations of sex/gender in the ancient world?

Textual, visual and material representations provide numerous and diverse opportunities to investigate sex/gender. Official texts and iconography traditionally hold a strong position in gender studies of the ancient world, whilst un-official texts and graffiti, as well as physical remains and material culture have up until recently been more neglected, or at the very best treated as passive objects only used to prove the interpretation of the official evidence. This interdisciplinary conference aims to bring together a wide range of scholars of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world, and draw on our respective materials to investigate the diversity of ancient conceptions of sex/gender.

We invite scholars with a material and/or theoretical interest in sex/gender, or in social structures based on gender distinctions. We hope to explore more broadly what was “before sex”, i.e. the modern reproduction-based two-sex model (Laqueur), and seek possibly even more fruitful ways to approach sex/gender in the ancient world. We encourage contributors to approach a variety of records and explore hypotheses outside of the established scholarly consensus on ancient understandings of sex/gender. We also encourage papers that reflect on the extent to which modern notions of sex/gender affect our reading of the past.

Among the keynote speakers, will be Professor Brooke A. Holmes of Princeton University (Classics), Associate Professor Benjamin Alberti of Framingham State University (Archaeology/Anthropology), and Dr. Rune Nyord of the University of Cambridge (Egyptology).

The Call for Papers is open to graduate, junior and senior scholars whose work is germane to the conference theme. The language is English only.

We invite abstracts (up to 250 words) and a brief bios (up to 100 words); the presentations will last for 20 minutes, and will be followed by 5-10 minutes of discussion.

To register, submit abstract and bios to, and pay the required fee to cover expenses:

Full registration ­– NOK 700, Student registration* – NOK 500, Visitor registration – NOK 700.


  • Congress welcome kit (badge, program, abstracts, etc.);

  • In-person congress session presentation;

  • Attendance to all plenary and parallel sessions;

  • Morning and afternoon teas/coffees during the days of the Congress;

  • Social Events, among others an organized excursion (day-trip) to the Artemis sanctuary and museum at Brauron;

  • The option to submit your paper for peer-review publication


  • Congress welcome kit (badge, program, abstracts, etc.);

  • Attendance to all plenary and parallel sessions;

  • Morning and afternoon teas/coffees on the days of the Congress;

  • Social Events, among others an organized excursion (day-trip) to the Artemis sanctuary and museum at Brauron

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