Lambda Classical Caucus
A Coalition of Queer Classicists and Allies


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Call for Papers: Transgressive Spaces in Classical Antiquity
LCC Panel,
2013 APA Seattle

Sarah Levin-Richardson, Rice University ( and
Lauri Reitzammer, University of Colorado at Boulder (

What spaces in Greek and Roman antiquity were used for gender and sexual transgression? By what means were everyday spaces transformed into places that welcomed going beyond or challenging normative gender and sexual expectations, and violating gender and sexual boundaries considered fixed and non-negotiable? Is there a spatial topography for individuals who embody non-normative gender roles or sexual practices? In what ways could "deviant" spaces affect or "infect" daily life?

Dramatic spaces in Athens permitted the audience to step beyond the constraints of reality into a realm where, for example, women could stop a war by means of a sex-strike, or where male viewers could temporarily feel emotions not commonly allowed. The wilds of Mt. Cithaeron, at least as imagined by classical Athenians, encouraged ecstatic or enthused participants to cross out of the constraints imposed by the human sphere. The Roman amphitheater lauded male gladiators whose wounds violated norms of impenetrable masculinity, and the triumphal route found soldiers calling attention to the non-normative sexual deeds of their generals.

This panel explores the roles of space – including ritual space, dramatic space, landscapes, and architectural space – in gender and sexual transgressions. This focus on spatial aspects is intended to bring the analysis of transgression into the realm of lived experience, and to investigate the influence of built and natural environments on daily life and cultural practices.

We welcome papers that draw on various approaches, including literary, socio-cultural, archaeological, art-historical, and theoretical. Please send abstracts that follow the APA's guidelines for individual abstracts by email to Prof. Deborah Kamen (, not to the panel organizers, by February 1, 2012. Please do not identify yourself anywhere in the abstract, as submissions will be blind refereed.

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