Four members of the department are just back from the quadrennial Feminism and Classics conference, on the theme Crossing Borders, Crossing Lines, at Brock University. Deb Kamen presented a paper on "Fictive Sale and the Manumission of Prostitutes in Ancient Greece", and Ruby Blondell gave one entitled "Playing on the Gender Boundary: Gorgias’ Helen". Two of our graduate students, Melissa Funke and Alex Kennedy, likewise presented papers, Melissa on "The Curious Case of Heracles' Apology in Euripides' Auge", and Alex on "Neaira and Phormio: the Problem of Natural Slavery and Manumission." Deb and Ruby (who are both officers of the Lambda Classical Caucus) also co-organized the first-ever LCC round-table at a Feminism and Classics meeting.
All the papers and the round-table were, in our modest opinion, stunningly successful, and we had a great time catching up with old friends and former students, both graduate (Yurie Hong, PhD '07, Christina Vester, PhD '04) and undergraduate (Jody Valentine, BA Classics '05). Jody organized a panel entitled On the Margins of Academia: Five Feminist Perspectives, which, along with an entertaining performance of Alcestis, was one of the highlights of the conference for Melissa. Our students particularly appreciated how friendly and approachable everyone was, and the supportive environment that led to stimulating exchanges between scholars at all points in their careers.