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Institute of Classical Studies
University of London

20th- 21st June 2006

Theme Programme Abstracts Registration Contact Details


The development of individual and group identities and the processes by which these form, change and interact is a key theme in recent classical scholarship.  One aspect of the subject which remains relatively unexplored, however, is that of female identity and the role of gender in the formation of identities, particularly in early Italy. 

This conference (organised in conjunction with the Department of Classics, National University of Ireland Galway and the Institute of Archaeology, UCL) will explore the role of gender in shaping identities and in particular the formation female identities in Italian society from prehistory to the early Roman empire. It will examine questions such as:  the roles, status and identities of women in the various pre-Roman societies of Italy; the interaction of gender with other forms of identity, such as ethnic identity or other forms of group identity; the impact of the process of municipalisation on female identity, status and social roles; the role of women in Roman colonisation; the effects of the cultural changes following the Roman conquest on female identity and the influence of gender on the adoption of Roman cultural practices. The conference will also examine the boundaries between male and female identities and areas of activity and the respective roles of men and women in the creation of female identities.  It will seek to examine existing methodologies and theoretical approaches and to develop new ones, and will adopt a cross-disciplinary approach to the problem, addressing the problems posed by archaeological, art historical, epigraphic and literary evidence.


A final programme will be posted shortly.  Contributors include:

Marietta Horster (Rostock):  The cults of Demeter, Kore, and Persephone/Proserpina   in Sicily and Italy (5th Ė 1st century BC)

Bridget Sandhoff (Iowa):  Isnít S/he Lovely? An Investigation of Androgyny in Etruscan Art

Corinna Riva (Glasgow):  Archaic Central Italy: the non-Greek female body and the crystallization of ethnic identity

Lisa Cougle (Canberra):  Expression of gender through dress in Latial Iron Age mortuary contexts

Margarita Gleba (Copenhagen): Textile Implements in Early Iron Age burials: The First Female Professionals of Italy?

Kathryn Lomas (UCL):  Gender identities in the Veneto in the 1st millennium BC: iconography, writing and ritual

Edward Herring (Galway):  Where are they hiding? The visibility of  the native women of Puglia in the 4th century BC

Vedia Izzet (Southampton):  Women and the Romanisation of Etruria

Brenda Haack Fineberg (Knox College, Illinois): The irregular career of Rhea Silvia/ Ilia in the first millennium BC 

Karen Hersch (Temple University), Ethnicity and the Costume of the Roman Bride

Kelli Stanley (San Francisco State University):  Sallustís Sexual Revolution: Manly Women in the Bellum Catilinae 

Lien Foubert (Nijmegen):   In search of the emperorís wife: whatís behind the different identities of Agrippina Minor?

Bronwyn Hopwood (University of New England, NSW):  The lex Voconia and the rhetoric of Empire

Fay Glinister (UCL):  Women and Cult in the Sanctuaries of Hellenistic Central Italy

Ruth Whitehouse (UCL):  Where have all the men gone? Sex, gender and Women's Studies

Larissa Bonfante (New York): Images of Gender, Classical and Etruscan

Marjatta Nielsen (Copenhagen):  The changing images of Etruscan couples

Downloadable poster available.


The conference fee will be £55.00 (students/unwaged £35), which will include coffee, tea, lunches and the conference reception. Please state when registering if you are vegetarian or have any special dietary requirements.   To register for the conference, please complete the downloadable Registration Form (Word document) and return it, with the appropriate payment (cheques made payable to 'Institute of Classical Studies') to:  Dr Kathryn Lomas, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY (

Further Details

For further details,  please contact Dr Edward Herring, Department of Classics, National University of Ireland Galway, University Road, Galway, Ireland ( or Dr Kathryn Lomas, Institute of Archaeology, UCL, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY (