Lambda Classical Caucus
A Coalition of Queer Classicists and Allies


about us







Call for Papers: Humoerotica
LCC Panel,
2015 APA New Orleans

Ruby Blondell ( and Kate Topper (
Sponsored by the Lambda Classical Caucus

Humor and sex have walked hand in hand since time immemorial. For this panel, we invite submissions on the many manifestations of this relationship in the ancient world, with a specific focus on intersections between humor and homoeroticism. Abstracts related to any aspect of this theme are encouraged from all areas of classical studies.

We are interested in questions of definition, and the application of comic theory to the ancient world. Why is sex such a prominent theme for humor? What counts as humorous, and how do we identify it, especially in cultures so distant in time and space from our own? What “work” did sexual humor do for the Greeks and Romans -- did it challenge conventional approaches to sexuality, did it reinforce these approaches, or could it do both? Is comedy inherently hostile towards its subjects, or can it be celebratory? Is homoerotic humor ever used at the expense of heteroeroticism? What modern approaches have helped to advance our understanding of sex and humor in the ancient world? How about ancient theories (e.g. Aristotle)?

We also welcome analysis of specific texts and artifacts. While Greek and Roman comedy provide an obvious and valuable resource, we encourage submissions on a wide range of genres and forms of evidence. Sexual humor features in the full spectrum of Greek and Latin texts, from oratory (with its comic invective), to lyric poetry (with its sexual innuendo and obscenity), to satirical prose and verse (Juvenal, Petronius, Lucian), and even philosophy (which features, notably, the humorously homoerotic persona of Socrates). In keeping with the traditions of the LCC, we also hope to include papers dealing with material evidence, such as painting, graffiti or mosaics. Abstracts might address, for example, the visual humor of the Eurymedon vase or of erotic wall-paintings at Pompeii. Other suitable themes include  intersections between visual and textual sources, the role of sexual humor in cultural institutions (such as religious cult), and the comic reception of ancient homoeroticism. Papers might also draw attention to evidence that remains underexplored or deserves a second look.

Abstracts, of 650 words or less, are due by March 10, 2014. Do not identify yourself in any way in the abstract itself, and please do not send it to the organizers. It should be sent as an email attachment to Jorge Bravo (, who will forward it to the organizers in anonymous form. Please follow the APA's formatting guidelines for individual abstracts.


Please send technical questions, suggestions, or other feedback to the wesite coordinator.