15 February 2020 Start
16 February 2020 End
Greece Keble College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3PG


Women Intellectuals in Antiquity Symposium

February 15-16, 2020

Aspasia, Hypatia, Sappho, Lucretia, Cleopatra, Diotima, Lavinia, Monica, Hecuba, Macrina, Radegund: the names of women intellectuals and the whispers of their powerful influence on philosophy, politics, literature, and education are scattered through the ancient evidence.

Who were these women teachers and philosophers, thought-leaders and theorists of Antiquity? Beyond how they are presented and used by male authors, how might their own thoughts and voices be fossilized within these ancient texts and other artefacts– and what methodological tools do we need to develop in order to excavate them? What can be recovered of the distinctive ideas and methods these women contributed to philosophy, literature, theology, or politics?

This Symposium aims to bring together scholars from across the humanities disciplines to discuss women intellectuals in Antiquity. In addition to paper sessions, it will feature two round-table discussions led by Peter Adamson and Armand D’Angour.

The conference is organised by Peter Adamson, Ursula Coope, Katharine O’Reilly, and Jenny Rallens with support from Oxford TORCH, the British Society for the History of Philosophy, LMU Munich, and Kings College London.

Conference Programme:

Saturday 15 February 2020

9.15am Registration and Coffee/Tea

9.45am Welcome

Jenny Rallens (University of Oxford), Katharine O’Reilly (King’s College London), and Peter Adamson (LMU Munich)

10am Session 1

Session Chair: TBC

10-10.30: Paper 1: Aiste Celkyte (Utrecht University), ‘Lost and Found: Hypatia’s Philosophical Views’

10.30-50: Q&A

10.50-11.20: Paper 2: Maria Protopapa (Academy of Athens), ‘Cynic Women on Philosophy (The Case of Hipparchia)’

11.20-11.40: Q&A

11.40-12: Break

12-1pm Keynote

Danielle A. Layne (Gonzaga University), ‘The Platonic Priestess: Erotic Pedagogues from Diotima to Asclepigenia’

1-2pm: Lunch

2pm Session 2

Session Chair: MM McCabe (King’s College London, UCL, Cambridge)

2-2.30: Paper 3: Kelly Arenson (Duquesne University),’Ancient Women Epicureans and their Anti-Hedonist Critics’

2.30-50: Q&A

2.50-3.20: Paper 4: Kate M. Brassel (Columbia University), ‘Recovering the Stoic Woman: Megara and Roman virtus’

3.20-3.40: Q&A

3.40-4pm: Break

4pm Session 3

4-5.30: Giulia De Cesaris (Durham University), Phillip Sidney Horky (Durham University), Caterina Pellò (Cambridge University), Panel: ‘Perictione, Mother of Metaphysics: A Female Theory of Wisdom’

Q&A: 5.30-6pm

Sunday 16 February 2020

9.15am Registration and Coffee/Tea

9.30am Session 4

Session Chair: TBC

9.30-10am: Paper 5: Thornton Lockwood (Quinnipiac University), ‘Artemisia of Halicarnassus: Virile woman or female intellectual?’

10-10.20: Q&A

10.20-10.50: Paper 6: Pieta Päällysaho (University of Jyväskylä), ‘Apples, headbands, and fire under the skin – Sappho’s philosophical materialism’

10.50-11: Q&A

11-11.20: Break

11.20 Session 5

Session Chair: Dawn Teresa LaValle (Australian Catholic University)

11.20-11.50: Paper 7: Anne Jaap Jacobson (University of Oxford), ‘Enheduanna and the women’s literature of early Mesopotamia’

11.50-12.10: Q&A

12.10-40: Paper 8: Mali Skotheim (Warburg Institute, London), ‘Submerged among the Fragments: Female Historians in the Roman Empire’

12.40-1pm: Q&A

1-2pm: Lunch

2-3pm Keynote

Sophia Connell (Birkbeck College, University of London), ‘Women’s Medical Knowledge in Antiquity: Beyond Midwifery’

3-3.10: Break

3.10 Session 6

Session Chair: Armand D’Angour (University of Oxford)

3.10-4.20: Laura Viidebaum (New York University), Marguerite Johnson (Newcastle University), Amanda Roberts (Carleton University), Joanne Waugh (University of South Florida), Panel: ‘Aspasia and Diotima’

4.20-5pm: Q&A

Conference ends.


Please follow the link to register.