Among Women

Among Women : From the Homosocial to the Homoerotic in the Ancient World

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Women's and men's worlds were largely separate in ancient Mediterranean societies, and, in consequence, many women's deepest personal relationships were with other women. Yet relatively little scholarly or popular attention has focused on women's relationships in antiquity, in contrast to recent interest in the relationships between men in ancient Greece and Rome. The essays in this book seek to close this gap by exploring a wide variety of textual and archaeological evidence for women's homosocial and homoerotic relationships from prehistoric Greece to fifth-century CE Egypt.

Drawing on developments in feminist theory, gay and lesbian studies, and queer theory, as well as traditional textual and art historical methods, the contributors to this volume examine representations of women's lives with other women, their friendships, and sexual subjectivity. They present new interpretations of the evidence offered by the literary works of Sappho, Ovid, and Lucian; Bronze Age frescoes and Greek vase painting, funerary reliefs, and other artistic representations; and Egyptian legal documents.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 407 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25mm | 621g
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • English
  • 52 b&w photos, 16 line drawings
  • 0292719469
  • 9780292719460
  • 1,330,540

Table of contents

1. Introduction (Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz)
2. Imag(in)ing a Women's World in Bronze Age Greece: The Frescoes from Xeste 3 at Akrotiri, Thera (Paul Rehak)
3. Aphrodite Garlanded: Eros and Poetic Creativity in Sappho and Nossis (Marilyn B. Skinner)
4. Subjects, Objects, and Erotic Symmetry in Sappho's Fragments (Ellen Greene)
5. Excavating Female Homoeroticism in Ancient Greece: The Evidence from Attic Vase Painting (Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz)
6. Women in Relief: "Double Consciousness" in Classical Attic Tombstones (John G. Younger)
7. Glimpses through a Window: An Approach to Roman Female Homoeroticism through Art Historical and Literary Evidence (Lisa Auanger)
8. Ovid's Iphis and Ianthe: When Girls Won't Be Girls (Diane T. Pintabone)
9. Lucian's "Leaena and Clonarium": Voyeurism or a Challenge to Assumptions? (Shelley P. Haley)
10. "Friendship and Physical Desire": The Discourse of Female Homoeroticism in Fifth-Century CE Egypt (Terry G. Wilfong)
Works Cited
Notes on Contributors
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Review quote

"This book is the most thorough account of female homo-erotic materials from the ancient Mediterranean I have yet seen in English... I can easily see it becoming a standard work on ancient female homo-eroticism." John S. Rundin, Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Texas at San Antonio
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About Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz

Nancy Sorkin Rabinowitz is Margaret Bundy Scott Professor of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College, where she also coordinates the Kirkland Project for the Study of Gender, Society, and Culture. Lisa Auanger is an editor of the Bibliography of the History of Art at the Getty Research Institute.
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