Gender and Sexuality in Greece and Rome

Subject ANCW40015 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

10 hours per week: total time commitment 120 hours


Admission to the fourth-year honours or postgraduate diploma in Ancient World Studies, Classics, or Gender Studies



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr James Chong-Gossard

Subject Overview:

This subject examines gender and sexuality in the classical world. It introduces students to methods of interpreting the evidence (including literature and material culture) from the ancient world in order to say anything definite about the 'real' lives of women in Greece and Rome. It also explores how ancient men expressed their ideology about femininity and masculinity through their literature; whether sexuality is a natural phenomenon, or is culturally determined; how ancient homosexuality differs from modern lesbian and gay culture; and how ancient assumptions about gender roles in the family differ from modern assumptions. Students will engage with ancient primary texts in translation (including those authored by women) and will explore modern theoretical approaches, including social history, feminisms, and queer theory. Students should complete the subject with an understanding of the complex approaches to a 'history of women' and a 'history of sexuality' in an ancient context.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Appreciate the culture and social history of classical Greece and Rome through the lens of gender and sexuality;
  • Be familiar with core primary texts from the ancient world, including literary "classics" and well-known archaeological sites;
  • Be able to explain modern theoretical approaches to the study of ancient gender and sexuality


Seven 250-word essays, on average one per week, 35% (beginning in Week 3), a 1250-word journal article analysis following an oral presentation, 25% (during the semester), and a 2000-word final essay, 40% (due during examination period).

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to pass this subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 2% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online

Fantham, Foley, Kampen, Pomeroy & Shapiro (eds), Women in the Classical World: Image and Text. Oxford University Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • Be able to conduct independent research using catalogued sources and bibliographic indexes;
  • Have developed their skills in verbal communication and oral presentation;
  • Have developed their ability to think creatively and express their ideas clearly in written communication.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Ancient World Studies
Ancient World Studies
Ancient World Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies

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