Pomeroy, Sarah B.. The study of women in antiquity: Past, present, and future
1991, American Journal of Philology 112 (2).
Added by: Clotilde Torregrossa, Contributed by: Clotilde Torregrossa
Abstract: The publication of Arethusa 6 in 1973 inaugurated the serious study of women in antiquity in our time. Classics was one of many disciplines to begin developing a subfield of women's studies in the early 1970s. Since then, has the study of women in antiquity become part of the "mainstream"? In order to answer this question I decided to examine articles and reviews published in current periodicals. I spent one day (October 1, 1990) skimming through the journals on display racks at the Ashmolean and Bodleian Libraries, assuming that they constituted a random sample. I looked at all the journals in Classics, Archaeology, and Ancient History that could conceivably have some material on women in antiquity. I checked only the titles listed in the main index of each journal; book reviews that were not listed in such an index were not noted. My criterion for including an article or review was that it could be of special value to someone teaching a specialised course or doing research on women in antiquity as well as to readers with a more casual interest in the subject. I do not claim any statistical significance for this survey. Nor is it intended to alert readers to a dearth of articles and reviews on ancient women in particular journals; for example, Arethusa frequently publishes work in this field, but I happened to examine a special issue on pastoral. I looked at forty-five journals. Of these, twenty-two did not have an article or review relevant to the study of ancient women. Twenty-three journals contained at least one title and of these Helios had devoted an entire issue to Feminist scholars, including those who are not specialists in classical antiquity, would probably be particularly interested in some of the articles in Helios and in Larissa Bonfante's study of nudity. The vast majority of the publications are traditional historical or literary studies. But I doubt that they would have been so numerous without the inspiration of feminism, however remote from the mind of some of the authors. This little survey confirmed my sense that the study of women has, indeed, become part, albeit a very small part, of the mainstream of Classical Studies.
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