Women’s Ritual Competence int he Ancient Mediterranean

From April 25 – 27, 2014, Bates College hosted the conference “Women’s Ritual Competence in the Ancient Mediterranean”.

This conference looked at a variety of women’s ritual activities, such as lamentation, prophecy, magical incantation, prayer, weaving and sacrifice.

To find out more about this conference, view the story, Conference at Bates explores women’s ritual activities in ancient times, from the Bates News.


Bates College, Lewiston Maine, April 25 – 27, 2014

DAY 1:  Friday April 25

1:45  Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dean of the Faculty, Matthew R. Auer, Bates College

The Semiotics of Material Objects 2:00 – 5:30
Moderator: Esther Eidinow, University of Nottingham, UK

2:00  Materiality and Ritual Competence: Insights from Women’s Prayer Typology in Homer
Andromache Karanika, University of California, Irvine, USA

3:00  The Forgotten Things: Women, Rituals and Community in Western Sicily (8th–6th centuries BC)
Meritxell Ferrer, Stanford University, USA

4:00  Break

4:30  Women, Ritual and Textiles in Greek Sanctuaries in the second half of the 1st Millenium BC
Cecilie Brons, National Museum of Denmark and The Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, DK

7:30  Dessert
Symbolic ritualization of reproduction/ reproductive anxieties in alien abduction narratives
Stephanie Kelley Romano, Mays Center, Bates College USA

DAY 2:  Saturday April 26

Time and Community  9:00 – 12:30
Moderator: Jennifer Kosak, Bowdoin College, USA

9:00  Bitter constraint?  Penelope’s web, and ‘season due’
Laurie O’Higgins, Bates College, USA

10:00  Break

10:15  Silent Mourners: Terracotta Statues and Death Rituals in Canusium
Tiziana D’Angelo, Metropolitan Museum of Art, USA
Maya Muratov, Adelphi University, USA

11:15  Women, Death Ritual and Social Memory in Classical Athens
Laura McClure, University of Wisconsin, USA

12:30  Lunch in New Commons
Center and Periphery 2:00 – 5:30
Moderator: Deborah Lyons, Miami University of Ohio, USA

2:00  Delphic Oracles: Occasional Verse and Ritual Competence
Lisa Maurizio, Bates College, USA

3:00  The Lone Man in ‘A League of their Own’, and ‘Light My Fire’: Two Aspects of Women and Sacrifice
Mat Carbon, Université de Liège, BE

4:00  Break

4:30  Why was the Festival of the Athenian Haloa celebrated?
Matthew Dillon, University of New England, AU

DAY 3:  Sunday April 27

Embodied Ritual 9:00 – 12:30
Moderator: Matthew Dillon, University of New England, AU

9:00  Owners of Their Own Bodies: Greek Women’s Competence in Reproduction Rituals
Irene Salvo, Royal Holloway University and Gerda Henkel Foundation, UK

10:00  Break

10:15  A Cutting Prophet
Bert Lott, Vassar College, USA

11:15  Magical Action and the Ritual Competence of ‘Victimhood’
Esther Eidinow, University of Nottingham, UK

12:30  Lunch in New Commons

Discussion 1:15 – 3:00

1:15  Current Trends and Future Directions in the Study of Women, Religion and Classics
A round table discussion with Bonnie MacLachlan, Emeritus Professor, The University of Western Ontario, CA