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A Feminist Economic History of the Ancient Greek World
December 14, 2020 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Resident Fellow (2020-2021)
Where are the women in the study of ancient economies? Their relative invisibility can only be partially explained by the surviving sources given that the last 50 years has seen a great deal of work on women and gender in other fields of ancient history. Routinely in accounts of ancient economies women’s experience is either ignored or viewed in limited terms and economic actors conceptualized as being male by default. This project argues that this assumption skews our understanding of the complex and changing economic systems of the fifth-second centuries BCE and suggests a recalibration of how we approach ancient economies with a view to highlighting the contribution that women played within them. This is not simply an argument for a greater recognition of women’s lives within ancient economic history (though this is in itself important), but through the employment of a feminist theoretical framework we can suggest new ways to consider how ancient economies worked—and who they worked for.
Claire Taylor is Associate Professor and John W. and Jeanne M. Rowe Chair of Ancient Greek History at UW-Madison. She is the author of Wealth, Poverty, and Well-Being: Experiencing Penia in Democratic Athens (2017), co-editor (with Kostas Vlassopoulos) of Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World (2015) and (with J.A. Baird) of Ancient Graffiti in Context (2011) as well as a number of articles. She has held fellowships at the University of Manchester in the UK, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington DC, and, most recently, the University of Münster in Germany.
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