Workshop Announcement: The Little Torch of Cypris: Gender and Sexuality in Hellenistic Alexandria and Beyond

Date/Time: Mon 02 Sep - Wed 04 Sep / All Day

Location: Monash University, Prato Campus

Dear classicists and ancient world aficionados,

In the framework of the Monash-Warwick Strategic Alliance, we are proud to announce a Call for Papers for a workshop with the title: 

The Little Torch of Cypris: Gender and Sexuality in Hellenistic Alexandria and Beyond

When: 2-4 September 2013

Where: Monash Campus, Prato, Italy

The workshop aims to investigate the definitions of gender and sexuality in Hellenistic Alexandria and its major impact on Latin literature as well as later genres of European literature that viewed the city as a symbol of cosmopolitan self-expression. Alexandria provided the setting for the development of a new definition of Greekness emanating from the city’s multi-cultural basis. In addition, Alexandrian poetry seems to project a new sense of the individual as a sexual being. From Meleager, the author of bold love epigrams, to Sotades, the writer of obscene satirical poems, a number of less known and less studied Hellenistic poets that have, nevertheless, excited the imagination of Latin and later Europeans authors and sealed their understanding of the Greek cultural produce.

The crux of our investigation is double on both ends: to untangle the tensions between the classical Athenian definitions of gender and the emerging sexual identities that are shaped at Alexandria and, regarding the reception of Hellenistic literature, to highlight which of these descriptions were understood to represent classical Greece or the Hellenistic period. We warmly invite papers that examine:

  • The definition of gender in Hellenistic Alexandria and the numerous traditions that shaped it (i.e. perceptions of Egyptian/ Jewish sexualities)
  • The reception of Alexandrian homosexuality in Latin literature.
  • The relationship between ancient Alexandria and modern European histories of gender and sexuality.

Submission deadline: please, send your abstracts of 600-800 words to Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides ( and Daniel Orrells ( by the 28th of February 2013. Depending on the coherence of the papers, the convenors will approach a quality publishing press as soon as the program for the workshop is finalized. This should speed up the process of a one-volume publication anticipated by the end of 2014. 

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