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Research - Education: Call for Papers
Porcia and Cato. Portrait of a Roman couple. 1st century BCE.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

Roman couples and power relationships

Swiss Congress of Historical Sciences 2016

The Swiss Congress of Historical Sciences 2016 is due to take place in Lausanne, on 9-11 June 2016.

The conjugal couple is a central element in Roman society. It is not only responsible for human but also for social reproduction, name and patrimony being transmitted by legitimate heirs. The couple is also a microcosmic reflection of the functioning of society: the way each member of the couple interacts with his or her direct and indirect environment mirrors the relationships and social hierarchies which construe the couple, and the rules that structure it reflect the rules that shape interactions between social individuals. Accordingly, the study of power relationships within ordinary couples yields information that sheds light on society as a whole, and offers food for thought in the study of traditional gender roles, realistic relationships, social interactions, notions of the private and public spheres, and the history of emotions.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

– the types of power that each member of the couple can exert on the couple and its functioning, on the familia, or on the other half of the couple

– behavioural strategies and concrete actions allowing each member of the couple to have authority over the other half of the couple; qualities and roles that give power of decision over any area of life

– the room for manoeuvring that each half of the couple has when faced with rules imposed by the other half in any given area of life

– behavioural divergences from the traditional, ideal norms defining gender roles and authority

– the extent to which emotions influence power relationships within the couple

For this panel submissions of abstracts (300 words or less) for 20-minute papers are invited, to be sent by the 25th of August to claude-emmanuelle.centlivreschallet@unil.ch

For more on the conference: www.journeesdhistoire.ch