Digesting Bodies: Status, Gender, and Mastery in Roman Society and Homes
December 4, 2017 3:30 PM
212 University Club Building
History, University of Washington
Providing a distinct window into the social and political developments of the early Roman Empire, my book project takes up various lived experiences in domestic settings to probe Roman notions of embodiment. In particular, my work focuses on Roman attitudes towards the digesting body and the domestic practices associated with its needs. 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. I argue that Roman authors’ accounts of somatic functions subtly reveal elite concerns about political and social changes occurring during the late Republic and early Empire. Additionally, through an analysis of material evidence, my project reveals how numerous activities related to basic bodily needs became the markers of a person’s place in Roman society.
F. Mira Green is a Lecturer in Ancient History in the History Department at the University of Washington. She received her PhD 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.