The Global Studies Seminar presents a talk titled “Tracing Women’s Movements in the Ancient Greek Mediterranean,” by Rebecca Futo Kennedy, associate professor at Denison.
This talk presents preliminary data from a new research project that attempts to track women’s movements throughout the ancient Mediterranean between 600 BCE and 400 CE. The preliminary data presented is primarily from Greek language grave markers, but also includes some citizenship decrees in Greek cities and includes women identified by approximately 60 ethnics from all over the Mediterranean. Because tombs and grants of citizenship are typically marked by ethnics, it allows us to see women who identify as having come from another location than the one they were buried or became a new citizen in. The primary goals of the project are to 1. understand the extent to which women moved in antiquity, 2. the reasons for movements (migration, enslavement, etc), and 3. to bring women to the surface in economic, social, and political histories where they are typically ignored because the data appears outside of standard literary evidence. This data can provide a foundation for comparative studies on the history of migrations, particularly in the Mediterranean.
Kennedy is an associate professor of classical studies, women’s and gender studies, and environmental studies at Denison University and is director of the Denison Museum. Her research and publications focus on issues of identity in antiquity, primarily focusing on race, ethnicity, gender, and class. She has also published on Athenian tragedy, specifically Aeschylus, and on the reception of ancient theories of identity in modern scientific racism and its popularizations.