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Unit information: Configurations of Gender and Sexuality in 2015/16

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Unit name Configurations of Gender and Sexuality
Unit code CLAS32335
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Liveley
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Classics & Ancient History
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Are contemporary notions of gender and sexuality the same as those in the ancient world? Is sex a universal signifier? Can the pornographic be said to have existed in ancient Greece and Rome? The aim of this unit is to explore different constructions and configurations of gender in a broad range of ancient texts, highlighting in particular the role of literature in constructing and questioning identity and sexuality. In addition to the set texts to be read in translation students will be required to engage with a variety of both ancient and contemporary perspectives on gender and sexuality.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students should have developed an awareness of the key issues in studies of gender and sexuality in ancient Greece and Rome. They should be familiar with a variety of contemporary theories of gender and sexuality and be able to evaluate specific passages of text with reference to these theories. They will have had plenty of opportunity to develop their oral and written communication skills both by contributing to discussion in seminars, in presentations, and in essays and written examinations.

Teaching Information

2 hours per week, seminar

Assessment Information

One essay of 3,000 words (50%) and one examination of 2 hours (50%).

Reading and References

Marguerite Johnson, Terry Ryan (eds.) (2004) Sexuality in Greek and Roman Literature and Society: A Sourcebook

S. Goldhill (1995) Foucault’s virginity

D. Halperin, J. Winkler, & F. Zeitlin (eds.) (1990) Before sexuality: The construction of ancient erotic experience

T. Laqueur (1990) Making sex: body and gender from the Greeks to Freud

Laura K. McClure (ed.) (2002) Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World: Readings and Documents

A. Richlin (ed.) (1992) Pornography and representation in Greece and Rome