Dis/embodiment and Im/materiality:
Uncovering the Body, Gender and Sexuality in Philosophies of Late Antiquity-In Memoriam Marianne Saghy
When: June 6 to June 8, 2019
Where: Central European University (Hungary)
Abstract Submission Deadline: April 28, 2019
From Stanimir Panayotov:
In his book From Shame to Sin: The Christian Transformation of Sexual Morality in Late Antiquity, Kyle Harper emphasizes that Christianity had made an enormous difference in how late ancient men and women conceptualized their passions and sexual activities. Also, feminist critics of ancient philosophical theories have focused on theories of matter. Fascinated by Aristotle’s identification of matter with privation, ugliness and femininity, they often tend to consider mainstream philosophies as sexist and the positive evaluation of matter and body as the gauge of the liberation of the female gender. Moreover, there is a tendency to link the Christian dichotomy of spirit and flesh to these philosophical theories. On the other hand, Late Antique scholars, following the lead of Peter Brown, have pointed to the function of sexual renunciation in early Christianity in liberating women from their traditional roles played in the Roman society. Yet, rarely if ever do scholars who are engaged in gender and sexuality studies attempt to conduct a comprehensive and in-depth study into these interrelated phenomena, while mainstream scholarship on these often turns a blind eye to the gendered perspective.
This conference aims at contributing to an eventual closure of the gap between the aforementioned fields. It will focus on the continuity and change in the social perception and role of the body, gender and sexuality in Late Antiquity, on intersections of gender studies, history of sexuality, feminist philosophy, philosophies of late antiquity, patristic and Gnostic studies, the history of asceticism, the history of Indian philosophy. It aims to bring together scholars of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages to explore how novel theories on late antique Greco-Roman and Indian philosophy, early Christianity, Gnosticism, Buddhism and Jainism connect to gender and sexuality studies. The profiles targeted are both graduate students and early- to mid-career researchers.
For more information and submission guidelines, please see the conference website.