13 October 2023 Start
1 December 2023 End
4-5.30pm on Fridays Time
UK Ioannou Centre Lecture Theatre, 66 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU

e-mail.: [email protected]

Taboos and Transitions: Exploring Sexualities and Genders in the Ancient Tradition

October 13-December 1, 2023

We are delighted to announce the programme for our upcoming Oxford Classics faculty research seminar in languages and literature. The theme is ‘Taboos and Transitions: Exploring Sexualities and Genders in the Ancient Tradition’, and we have an exciting range of interdisciplinary talks by scholars coming from all over the UK, Europe and America.

The regular seminar will be 4-5.30pm on Fridays in the Ioannou Centre Lecture Theatre, 66 St Giles, Oxford, OX1 3LU.  The dates are given below.

Please note we are welcoming Professor Kelly Shannon-Henderson from the University of Cincinnati on Monday 6th November to give an additional guest seminar: this session will take place in Merton College from 5-6.30pm.

Please see below for the schedule. If you have any queries please contact Sarah Cullinan Herring (

Week 1 (4-5.30pm Friday 13 October 2023)
Dr Sarah Cullinan Herring (Oxford)
Bio-prosthesis and an anti-erotics of ageing: from Greek literature to modern culture.
Dr Martina Astrid Rodda (Oxford)
Pregnant gods, pregnant men: reproductive care, masculinity, and disability in Lucian of Samosata.

Week 2 (4-5.30pm Friday 20 October 2023)
Peter Olive (Oxford)
Standard comparisons for maximized affect: Oedipus and Thyestes in the Athenian law courts.
Professor Andreas Serafim (Nicolaus Copernicus University)
The Language of ‘Silent Language’: Semi-volitional Body Behaviour and Sexuality in Ancient Literature.

Week 3 (4-5.30pm Friday 27 October 2023)
Professor Tim Whitmarsh (Cambridge)
Sins of the flesh in later Greek poetry.
Professor Tom Sapsford (Boston)
Sexual consent and education in the poems of Sappho and Allen Ginsberg.

Week 4 (4-5.30pm Friday 3 November 2023)
Dr Alexandra Hardwick (Oxford)
Pasiphae’s Ghost: Engaging with Bestiality in Athenian Tragedy.
Isobel Williams (poet and translator)
Binding Tongues in Catullus.

Monday 6th November, 5-6.30pm , Merton College
Visiting Lecture Professor Kelly Shannon-Henderson (Cincinnati)
Spontaneous Sex Change in Ancient Literature.

Week 5 (4-5.30pm Friday 10 November)
Dr Laura Seymour (Oxford)
Echo and Echolalia in early modern writing.
Dr Oliver Baldwin (Reading)
Trans Tragedy: Medea, Trojan Women, Bacchae.

Week 6 (4-5.30pm Friday 17 November)
Professor Isabel Ruffell (Glasgow)
title tbc
Leah Mitchell (Oxford)
Disability and monsterisation in Laura Benson’s ‘Ariadne’ Cycle.

Week 7 (4-5.30pm Friday 24 November)
Dr Joe Watson (Warwick)
Arachne’s Web of Bestiality in Ovid Metamorphoses 6.
Dr Kate Cook (St Andrews)
Cross-dressing in Ancient-World Based Video Games.

Week 8 (4-5.30pm Friday 1 December)
Professor Jennifer Ingleheart (Durham)
Some Queer Versions of Catullus .
Dr Henry Stead (St Andrews)
A Queer Catullus for the 2010s.