Dear Friends, The Critical Antiquities Network is thrilled to be able to invite you to a special event on Friday Dec 2, 3-5pm, live in person and on Zoom
“Que peuvent les femmes?” An Afternoon with Giulia Sissa on ‘The Power of Women’ (Le Pouvoir des Femmes, Odile Jacob: Paris 2021) Friday, December 2, 3-5pm in the CCANESA Boardroom, Madsen Building, University of Sydney Zoom details: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/83120867395 Please join Giulia Sissa, Ben Brown and Tristan Bradshaw for an interview and extended conversation on the themes and arguments of Giulia’s most recent book, Le Pouvoir des Femmes, Odile Jacob: Paris 2021<https://www.odilejacob.fr/catalogue/histoire-et-geopolitique/histoire-par-themes/pouvoir-des-femmes_9782738154804.php>. Discussion will range across topics such as the body of the male citizen in democratic Athens, Aristotle’s anthropology of the feminine, queens and mothers in history and tragedy, Condorcet’s remarkable call for womens’ rights—to end up in our present post-Enlightment situation where we can again ask: is the work of a feminist critique of antiquity complete? Que peuvent les femmes? Prof. Giulia Sissa (UCLA) is one of the most preeminent and energetic thinkers working today at the juncture of feminism, classical studies and philosophy. Her oeuvre across this terrain is prolific and extraordinary and has set the tempo for intellectual reflection on women, gender, religion, politics, and philosophy in the Ancient Greek World (and beyond) for an entire generation. Her books include seminal classics such as Greek Virginity (1990), L' âme est un corps de femme (2000), Le Plaisir et le Mal: Philosophie de la drogue (1997), Daily Life of the Greek Gods (with Marcel Detienne, 2000), Sex and Sensuality in the Ancient World (2008) as well as scores of articles and book chapters on a vast range of topics illuminating the gendered landscape of classical antiquity. It is with great pleasure that the Critical Antiquities Network can host her at the University of Sydney. [Pouvoir des femmes (Le)] >From the preface: Once upon a time there were queens and princesses. They ruled countries, commanded armies and were obeyed. Their lives were full of possibilities, powers and plans. They were called Artemisia of Halicarnassus, Antigone, Jocasta or Aithra. Ancient historiography recounts their marvellous exploits, while classical tragedy resurrects them on stage. Exceptional and singular in societies hostile to women, these individuals belong to an aristocratic past or live in a royal elsewhere. In these possible worlds, they are themselves possible. It is enough to imagine. The Greeks knew how to do it. The same Greeks invented democracy. And now women of this calibre, in a position to deliberate, to lead and to defend the state, become quite simply inconceivable. Philosophy rationalises their natural defectiveness, a softness whose most debilitating effects are lack of courage and infirmity of decision. The man is able to determine what to do. The woman, whose deliberative faculty is invalid, cannot resolve it. The man is full of zeal. Women are cowards. Men are inclined to lead. Women are content to be submissive. Man is a political animal. Woman is a domestic animal. Nature is supposed to be the basis for these norms which seem to be imposed on everyone's mind and which organise the family around a leader who is a husband, a father and a master of slaves. In the city, the self-governance of the people requires precisely those virtues, faculties and passions that women do not have. It is, again, their nature. It is imperative, therefore, to exclude them from the political arena. Christianity nails the feminine to the same impotence and, moreover, to irrationality. The ancient woman was unable to fight, to give orders, to carry out her decisions. Now, in the great medieval theorists like Thomas Aquinas and Albert the Great, she becomes incapable of coherent thought, trained as she is by her fluid complexion. The male, who was hotter and more spirited than the female, becomes a more methodical reasoner. These prejudices remained a given until the Enlightenment. Jean-Jacques Rousseau had a field day with them. Let young girls confine themselves to taste, to conventional ideas and to the small world of their little families. Let them not try to reason. Since they are not the same as men, women cannot be the equal of men. That would be to usurp rights that are not for them. In the end, it is to the philosophers who replaced the laws of nature with human rights, notably Nicolas de Condorcet, that we owe everything that makes emancipation and equality possible, and this time, for good. But like everything that comes from the Enlightenment, feminism is an intermittent and never-ending project, always perfectible and constantly hindered. [translated by B. Brown] All are welcome! We hope to see you there. Please also join us afterwards as we adjourn to the Forest Lodge Hotel to continue the discussion! Please reply to this email for further details, All very best, Ben DR BEN BROWN Classics and Ancient History School of Humanities A18 Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Co-director Critical Antiquities Network THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY NSW 2006 Ph.: 9351 8983; Office: Main Quad J6.07 E benjamin.br...@sydney.edu.au<mailto:benjamin.br...@sydney.edu.au> | W http://sydney.edu.au/arts/classics_ancient_history/staff/profiles/benjamin.brown.php Erst kommt das Fressen, dann kommt die Moral Recent Book<http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2017/2017-07-39.html> CRICOS 00026A This email plus any attachments to it are confidential. Any unauthorised use is strictly prohibited. If you receive this email in error, please delete it and any attachments. Please think of our environment and only print this e-mail if necessary.
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