‘A woman’s work is never done,’ whether in a Postmodern Pandemic, 1950s Australia or Classical Antiquity. What was that work, however, and when was it considered a ‘profession’ or even ‘work’ in Antiquity (by the worker, her family, and/or her society)? Recent research is casting new light on paid and unpaid work that ancient women undertook outside of the household oikos, domus or villa context in the ancient Mediterranean world. The 10th muse Sappho continues to attract attention (and somehow publish new work!), as do her lesser-known sisters of the lyre and pen like Erinna, Anyte or Sulpicia (1). The ‘working women’ of the oldest profession gain renewed notoriety, whether Aspasia as the ‘secret’ muse of Socrates and originator of western philosophy in Classical Athens (2), or the mostly-anonymous sex workers of Pompeii (3). Even in arts and crafts, we are slowly recognizing the ‘mass production’ of garland weavers, wool-workers (4), or female potters like the potential creator of the Dipylon Vase (5). Major challenges to this sort of scholarship remain, however, not only in the extant literary and archaeological evidence, but also in the unpacking of historic and contemporary gender (and other) biases and stereotypes, value-judgments and judgments of value. Ancient and modern definitions of ‘working women’ were, and are, neither static nor uniform, but worthy of study and questioning, whether of their professionalisation and the earning of wages, their public and private spheres, or across all the disparate categories of paid, unpaid and servile labor, labor, douleia, scholê orneg(otium) of ancient Greece and Rome.
Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies invites the submission of abstracts for a panel at ASCS 42 on professional women of the Ancient World. Abstracts in the ASCS format should be sent in the first instance to the panel convenor Amelia R. Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 21, 2020, so she can prepare a panel submission by August 31 for ASCS 42 Online.
Image sourced from Pryke, L. 'Hidden women of history: Enheduanna, princess, priestess and the world’s first known author' The Conversation. February 13, 2019.
The Sydney Chapter would like to invite you all to join us for our upcoming events:
Online Talk - Animating the ancient world – a past that still dances
What perspectives can contemporary artists gain from archaeological museums and sites? And what do contemporary practices give back to the understanding of these ancient worlds? With a practice as a sculptor and animator, Hannah Gee has observed and made reference to archaeological artefacts for over ten years. Through visiting archaeological sites and museums in Athens, Turkey, Italy, Crete and Cyprus, the access to objects provides an immense platform to produce work, as well as examine the deep past and acknowledge the shared human impetus to create over millennia. Join Hannah as she discusses the impact of working with archaeologists and archaeological material on her artistic practice and her curatorial approach to exhibit contemporary Australian art.
About our speaker:
Hannah has worked with artists and objects since 2011. With a Bachelor of Creative Arts (hons) from the University of Wollongong, her artistic focus remains in sculpture, animation and video installation. Having undertaken a Masters of Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies at the University of Sydney, her critical area of interest is the flexibility of new media in contemporary art as applied to the stalemate within institutions regarding disputes over material repatriation. She is currently the Exhibitions and programs coordinator at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery, where every practice is viewed holistically and every object has its own agency.
We hope you are able to join us for one or both of these upcoming events
Your Sydney Chapter Co-Chairs
Alex, Genevieve and Candace
The Cancelled Conference - Monday 13 July 2020
The Brisbane Chapter of the Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies organisation would like to welcome you to The Cancelled Conference. We hope that this conference provides an alternative platform for AWAWS postgraduate members to share their ideas and present their research. This programme offers a diverse range of presenters from the UQ School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry and AWAWS postgraduate members with our presenters representing a variety of interests and disciplines.
The conference will be held on zoom and requires you register for each session. All the links and instructions for accessing and participating through zoom are provided in the conference program below.
The convenors of this conference are Tyla Cascaes and Brianna Sands. They are both MPhil candidates at the University of Queensland and co-chairs of the Brisbane Chapter of AWAWS. Please feel free to contact us via email at any time in regards to this conference and follow us on facebook for all the latest updates from the chapter.
AWAWS Brisbane Chapter presents
The Cancelled Conference
For many postgraduate students the mid-year break is usually a time to attend conferences and workshops to gain academic and professional experience. These events provide great opportunities for postgraduates to share their research ideas, practice public speaking, further their professional development, and meet fellow peers. Due to the unfolding circumstances most conferences and workshops for 2020 have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. As a postgrad-led chapter we are particularly aware of the impact these cancellations can have on academic development for postgraduate students, especially for new students planning to attend their first conference.
To combat these cancellations and to make the most of our time in isolation, AWAWS Brisbane will be holding The Cancelled Conference to provide AWAWS postgraduate members with an opportunity to put their cancelled conference papers to good use. The conference will be held virtually over Zoom in mid-July. Although we cannot fully recreate or replace attending an academic conference, we hope The Cancelled Conference will be a useful alternative.
Date and Location
The Cancelled Conference will be held Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 July depending on numbers.
The conference will be held virtually through Zoom, UQ’s preferred video-call software.
Zoom links for each panel session will be provided in the conference program.
How to apply
To apply for the conference please email AWAWS Brisbane (email@example.com) with the submission form below:
Submissions are due by Friday 19 June.
If you have any further questions about the conference, you can contact us via our email address or Facebook page.
Brianna Sands, MPhil candidate (UQ), Co-chair AWAWS Brisbane Chapter
Tyla Cascaes, MPhil candidate (UQ), Co-chair AWAWS Brisbane Chapter
A reminder that our next AGM will be held online from Monday 15th until Sunday 30th of June, with the new committee to be announced at the start of July. In advance, we are calling for nominations for all positions, closing at 5pm this Friday 12th of June. We would like to add another position this year for a postgraduate representative whose primary responsibility would be to advocate for our postgraduate members.
Two documents are provided below outlining position descriptions, together with the AWAWS Rules. If you would like to nominate yourself or another member, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 12th of June. Include in that email the 1) nominee's name, 2) institution and 3) the position for which you are nominating. If you are nominating another member, please first seek their approval. All nominees must be financial members of the organization.
If only one nomination for a position is received, then the society's Rules state that the nominee is deemed to be elected. For those positions where more than one nomination is received, voting will open on Monday 15th of June. Voting will take place online at the same time as the AGM.
Finally, there will be a handover period so any incoming committee members will be guided through relevant responsibilities. This is a recurring commitment throughout the year, but it is not overly burdensome, and it is an excellent opportunity to develop working relationships with scholars throughout New Zealand and Australia.
If you have any questions with regard to the AGM, please feel free to email Anastasia Bakogianni, AWAWS Secretary.
With very best wishes in these challenging times,
The AWAWS Executive Committee
A/Prof. Lea Beness, Macquarie University
Dr Diana Burton, Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Anastasia Bakogianni, Massey University
Dr Gwynaeth McIntyre, University of Otago
Dr Amelia Brown, University of Queensland
Dr Alexandra Woods, Macquarie University
Ms Emily Chambers, University of Adelaide
Ms Candace Richards, University of Sydney
About the Blog
The contribution made by women to ancient world studies in Australia and New Zealand has often been overlooked and neglected. Our blog aims to bring you new research and insights into some of these remarkable women. Written by AWAWS members, these entries will hopefully be a starting point in terms of discovering more about the diversity of people who have shaped our understanding of the ancient world.
Write for the Blog
We are currently seeking contributors to the blog from a wide range of voices. Entries can focus on an individual and their contribution to the discipline including (but not limited to) scholarly research, teaching and mentorship of others. Alternatively, entries can focus on an aspect of the writing of the history of women in the discipline, new avenues for research or even the development of societies, research collectives or groups related to the development of the discipline and the role of women.
Entries should be around 500 words in length (and strictly no more than 800 words) and ideally include 2-4 images (72dpi preferred, maximum size: 1000 x 2000 pixels). If a longer entry is desirable, a two (or more) part feature may be considered. References (to be included only if essential) are to be in text using the Harvard referencing system (Author Year, page number), with a list of cited works provided at the end of the post. Footnotes cannot be accommodated.
Topics covered in the blog will be listed under ‘Blog Subjects’ so that previous posts can be found easily as we build up our content. As we grow the blog, multiple entries can be written on the same subject from different perspectives.
A brilliant first entry was written by Natalie Looyer from the University of Canterbury on Marion Steven . A similar blog on international archaeologists is trowel blazers, and we hope to follow that example for easily accessible biographies of the history of women in the discipline.
If you would like to contribute to the blog, please email us with details of your subject and a brief outline of the post to email@example.com or get in touch with any questions about the project of becoming a contributor.
We are excited to announce that this year we are hosting an online lecture to mark our AGM.
'For Love AND Money: Cults of Aphrodite for Ancient Greek Mariners'
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