Lambda Classical Caucus
A Coalition of Queer Classicists and Allies

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Legalize it: Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Law
LCC Panel, 2021 Annual Meeting of the SCS, Chicago

Organizers: Naomi Campa (campa1@kenyon.edu) and Tommaso Gazzarri (gazzarrt@union.edu)

Normative regulation of sexual behavior and gender expression was paramount in the ancient world. Both Greek and Roman jurisprudence, however, contain surprising inclusions as well as omissions. From Athenian moicheia to Roman impudicitia, ancient legislators strived to categorize behaviors, define the norm/normal, and tease apart the lawful from the illicit. The Lambda Classical Caucus invites submissions on the many ways the law expressed, shaped, and/or challenged ideology regarding sexual relationships and gender identity in antiquity. 

We encourage submissions on a wide range of genres, forms of evidence, and definition of sexual behaviors and gender identity. For instance, we welcome papers that address the legal status of figures such as the sex laborer or the cinaedus, the legal policing of the sexual identities of the citizen and the foreigner, the definition of obscenity, and the public display of the body as an object of power or submission. Papers may address questions such as the following: 

  • What types of behaviors are deemed suitable for the legal regulation rather than only for extra-legal policing? 
  • What behaviors or identities are explicitly left unregulated by the laws?
  • Are certain physical locations or spheres of activity more likely to provoke legislation of sexuality or identity?
  • How is evasion of sexual laws denounced or defended in our sources?
  • What role does the type and extent of legal penalties play in the evaluation of sexual behaviors or gender expression?
  • How is the regulation of sexual behaviors linked to the regulation of gender identity?

Please send abstracts of 500 words or less that follow the SCS's formatting guidelines for individual abstracts as an email attachment to Ruby Blondell (blondell@uw.edu) by March 1, 2020. Do not identify yourself in any way in the abstract itself and please do not send it to the organizers. The organizers will review all submissions anonymously and their decision will be communicated by the end of March 2020, with enough time that those not chosen can participate in the individual abstract submission process for the upcoming SCS meeting. Please address any questions to Naomi Campa (campa1@kenyon.edu) or Tommaso Gazzarri (gazzarrt@union.edu).

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