Conference: Engendering Time in the Ancient Mediterranean, April 29-May 1, 2016

As Penelope weaves and unweaves a garment she intends as a shroud for Laertes, she delays a marriage promised to take place at its completion. More than this, Penelope seems to stall or reverse time. The object she creates is not preserved, but, like the proverbial witches of antiquity who call rivers back to their source, and seduce the moon from its home in the sky, Penelope’s weaving instead constructs time—as cyclical and recursive. For his part, Odysseus moves through time and space in an apparently linear fashion; one event or action leads inexorably to the next, even if themes and experiences repeat themselves. His adventures are recorded in epic verse: within the time/space of the poem, we hear his own account of them, and, with the advent of writing, they will become the material of history.

Homer’s Odyssey offers a meditation on how time is gendered and its consequences for social, literary, and historical enterprises outside of the epic. This conference examines how the experience of time was gendered in the ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean through a range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives.

"This low relief frieze, 'The Borghese Dancers,' depicts a happy gathering of the Three Graces and Horae, the Goddesses of Time."

“This low relief frieze, ‘The Borghese Dancers,’ depicts a happy gathering of the Three Graces and Horae, the Goddesses of Time.”

Engendering Time in the Ancient Mediterranean, organized by Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham, UK) and Lisa Maurizio (Bates College), has been generously supported by the Costas and Mary Maliotis Charitable Fund Foundation.

The conference is open to the public. Meals are available for conference delegates only. Please contact Lisa Maurizio at if you would like to attend the evening presentations.


All events will take place in Commons 221-222.


1:15-1:30pm: Introductory Remarks And Welcome: Matthew Auer, Dean of Faculty, Bates College

Afternoon Panel

Moderator: Esther Eidinow, University of Nottingham, UK

1:30-2:15pm: Sappho’s Games and Gendered Temporality: Repetition and Interruption in Female Performance of Choral

2:15-3:00pm: Atalanta and Sappho: Women In and Out of Time, KIRK ORMAND, OBERLIN COLLEGE, OH

Coffee & Tea

3:30-4:15pm: “Feminizing” Time through Grammatical Gender in Pindar’s Epinicians, MARIA PAVLOU, UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS, CY

4:15-5:00pmRitual Time and Restoration in Sophocles’ Trachiniae, TERESA YATES, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, CA

6:00-8:00pmA Mediterranean Feast followed by desserts and discussion with Stephanie Kelly-Romano on “Alien Abduction and Time”


Morning Panel

Moderator: Jennifer Clark Kosak, Bowdoin College, ME

9:00-9:45am: The Poetics of Time: Plot and Pattern in Herodotus’s Narrative, ESTHER EIDINOW, NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY, UK

9:45-10:30am: Mortal Time, Divine Time, DEBORAH LYONS, MIAMI UNIVERSITY, OH

Coffee & Tea

11:00-11:45am: Gender, Genre, and Time in Delphic Divination, LISA MAURIZIO, BATES COLLEGE, ME

11:45am-12:30pm: Festival and Ritual as Engendered Time in Ancient Greece: Chronological and Diachronic Time in Gendered and Non-Gendered Sacred Rites, MATTHEW P. DILLON, UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND, AU

12:30-1:30pm: Lunch In Commons

Afternoon Panel

Moderator: Barbara Weiden Boyd, Bowdoin College, ME

1:30-2:15pm: Delia’s Saturnian Day: The Puella and the Golden Age in Augustan Elegy, HUNTER GARDNER, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, SC

2:15-3:00pm: Gendered Patterns: Constructing Time in the Communities of Catullus 64, AARON SEIDER, COLLEGE OF THE HOLY CROSS, MA

Coffee & Tea

3:30-4:15pm: Static Father, Dynamic Daughter: Hunger and Time in Ovid’s Erysichthon Episode, ROBERT SANTUCCI, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND, MD

6:00-8:00pm: A New England Feast


Panel and Discussion

Moderator: Todd Berzon, Bowdoin College, ME

9:30-10:15am: Sosipatra, Destiny, and Death, CRYSTAL ADDEY, ST. ANDREWS UNIVERSITY, SCT

Coffee & Tea

10:30-11:15am: (En)Gendering Christian Time: Female Saints and Roman Martyrological Calendars, NICOLA DENZEY LEWIS, BROWN UNIVERSITY, RI

11:15am-12:00pm: Telling Time with Epiphanius: Periodization and Metaphors of Genealogy and Gender in the Panarion, ELIZABETH CASTELLI, BARNARD COLLEGE, NY

12:00-1:00pm: Conference Brunch followed by a round table discussion

Conference concludes at 1:00pm