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CLAS 328 A: Sex, Gender, and Representation in Greek and Roman Literature

Sophia Schliemann
Meeting Time: 
MWF 11:30am - 12:20pm
SIG 225
Joint Sections: 
CLAS 328 B
Stephen Hinds 2021 portrait photo
Stephen E. Hinds

Syllabus Description:

MyPlan Course Description

(once term starts, consult home/front page rather than this one)

Classics 328 A and B    Autumn 2019

Sex, Gender and Representation in Greek and Roman Literature

Prof. Stephen Hinds

3 credits; MWF 11:30-12:20; SIG 225

SLN 12647

(Fulfils VLPA/I&S, DIV)

What kinds of stories did ancient Greeks and Romans tell about human interpersonal experience?  This course will explore the worlds of myth, fiction and poetic self-representation through which Greek and Roman writers and readers push the envelope of everyday life and explore larger worlds of identity, desire and the imagination.

Presupposing no prior study of what we know as classical antiquity, the course will offer the opportunity to explore a formative period of Western civilization through consideration of some of its most characteristic texts and ideas, and to measure them in terms of the perspectives and expectations which we as readers bring to them from our increasingly diverse and interconnected 21stcentury societies.

To be studied, via Homer, Sappho, Plato, Ovid and others:  the affirmation and inversion in literature of culturally agreed gender roles; myths of male and female identity and self-fashioning; the marginalization and reclamation of female consciousness; and the ‘rules of engagement’ in ancient love poems and narratives of sexual encounter, in which gender, status, sexual identity and sexual preference are all bound up together ... and often problematized. 

Midterm and final exams. No term paper, but the final will include extended essay questions on topics assigned ahead of time.

Update May 13: A new 'B' section has been added to the course, open only to juniors, sophomores and freshmen. Other than the enrollment restriction, identical to the 'A' section: same time, place, instructor and syllabus; fulfills same requirements.


Catalog Description: 
Affirmation and inversion of gender roles in Greek and Roman literature, myths of male and female heroism; marginalization of female consciousness; interaction of gender, status, and sexual preference in love poetry. Readings from epic, drama, historiography, romance, and lyric.
GE Requirements: 
Diversity (DIV)
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:12pm