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Digesting Bodies: Status, Gender, and Mastery in Roman Society and Homes

December 4, 2017 @ 3:30 pm

Image of Silver cup from Casa del Menandro in Pompeii
Image: Silver cup from Casa del Menandro: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, inv. no. 145505. Photo by presenter (F. Mira Green).


Monday Seminar:

Mira Green

Solmsen Fellow (2017-2018)

History; Classics, University of Washington


Providing a distinct window into the social and political developments of the early Roman Empire, my research focuses on Roman attitudes towards the digesting body and the domestic practices associated with its needs in order to probe Roman notions of embodiment. While recent work in Roman social and cultural history has enhanced our knowledge about Roman attitudes toward sexuality, far less attention has been given to the role of the digesting body for the articulation of Roman social hierarchies. In this talk, I look at authors’ descriptions of the digestive process and indigestion.  Next, I turn to the world of practice and consider the daily and repetitive exchanges between body and objects designed to assist in the preparation and consumption of food, focusing specifically on cooking benches and dining couches.


F. Mira Green is a Lecturer in Ancient History in the History Department at the University of Washington. She received her Ph.D. in Roman History from the University of Washington and M.A. in Greek History from the University of Utah. Her research focuses on questions of hierarchy and power that are intertwined with a society’s ideas about daily life, food, slavery, sexuality, and the material expressions of mastery in the Roman world. She has published articles in the Journal of Roman Archaeology and Helios.


December 4, 2017
3:30 pm
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University Club, Room 212
432 East Campus Mall
Madison, Wisconsin 53703 United States