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Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy

Gender: Antiquity and Its Legacy
Brooke Holmes

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Gender has now become a pervasive topic in the humanities and social sciences. Yet despite its familiarity within universities and colleges, some have argued that the radical debates which first characterized gender studies have become ghettoized or marginalized - so that gender no longer makes the impact on creative thinking and ideas that it once did. Brooke Holmes here rescues ancient ideas about sex and gender in order precisely to reinvigorate contemporary debate. She argues that much writing on gender in the classical age fails to place those ancient ideas within their proper historical contexts. As a result, the full transformational force of that thinking is often overlooked. In this short, lively book, the author offers a sophisticated and historically rounded reading of gender in antiquity in order to map out the future of contemporary gender studies. By re-examining ancient notions of sexual difference, bodies, culture, and identity, Holmes shows that Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Epicureans and others force us to reassess what is at stake in present-day discussions about gender. The ancient world thus offers a vital resource for modern gender theory.

Author Info

Brooke Holmes is Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University. Her first book, The Symptom and the Subject: The Emergence of the Physical Body in Ancient Greece, was published in 2010. A co-edited volume, Dynamic Reading: Studies in the Reception of Epicureanism, appeared in 2012. She has also written on Lucretius, the Iliad, Euripides’ Heracles, Plato and Aelius Aristides’ Sacred Tales.


'...a well-researched and thought-provoking book that will appeal to both classicists and gender studies scholars because of Holmes' focus on interdisciplinary – and therefore highly innovative – research on the ancient Greek, Roman and contemporary conceptualizations of sex, gender, sexual difference and sexuality... an outstanding resource.'
The Classical Review

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Series: Ancients and Moderns

ISBN: 9781845119294
Publication Date: 29 May 2012
Number of Pages: 160
Height: 216
Width: 134

ISBN: 9781845119287
Publication Date: 29 May 2012
Number of Pages: 160
Height: 216
Width: 134

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