Gender and Women in Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Bibliography 2002-2016

Author Name: agnes-garcia-ventura
Author Name: gioele-zisa
Akkadica 138In 2002 Julia M. Asher-Greve, in collaboration with Mary Frances Wogec, published Women and Gender in Ancient Near Eastern Cultures: Bibliography 1885-2001 in the journal NIN: Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity. As shown by the broad time span covered by the bibliography, this list was the first devoted to women and gender in ancient Near Eastern studies. In the short time since the publication of that bibliography, both women’s studies and gender studies in a broad sense have undergone notable expansion. For this reason, Agnès Garcia-Ventura and Gioele Zisa have created a new bibliography list, which covers the studies published from 2002 to 2016. This list has been recently published (2017) in the number 138 of the journal Akkadica.[1]

Continue reading Gender and Women in Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Bibliography 2002-2016

Call for Papers: Engendering Near Eastern Archaeology

Call for Papers: Engendering Near Eastern Archaeology
(Theme/section at 11ICAANE, Munich 3 -7 April, 2018)

Gender roles and identities are fundamental for the construction of most sociocultural norms and practices, ancient and modern. The Ancient Near East offers ample evidence to explore how these were enacted and materialized in political, economic, religious, and private spheres.

This section welcomes contributions that use gender as a category of analysis when dealing with various kinds of archaeological, bioarchaeological, visual and textual sources. Contributors are encouraged to clarify their theoretical and methodological stance when addressing issues such as gender and power relations, gender-specific treatments of bodies, the role of artistic media in the propagation of gender ‘ideals’, or the use of objects for engendering all kinds of cultural practices.

Deadline by July 31, 2017. Further details on submission guidelines and registration, on 11ICAANE website.

Keeping Archaeological Field Work Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence

Beth Alpert NakhaiIn 2014, I1 began investigating the problem of safety in the field for female archaeologists working in the Middle East and North Africa. Although I have been working in Near Eastern archaeology since the mid-1980s, I had never considered this problem in a comprehensive way until I read the work done by four anthropologists, Kathryn B. H. Clancy, Robin G. Nelson, Julienne N. Rutherford and Katie Hinde. At the 2013 meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Clancy stated that, “undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, and faculty report sexual harassment and assault not only by their peers, but by their bosses and mentors in the field.” She blogged about their work in Scientific American and the four collaborators published their research in PLOS ONE2

Knowing that in our field, as well, things are less than ideal, I committed myself to doing what I could to make it possible for people to engage in fieldwork without fear of intimidation, harassment, and violence based on gender, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity. In 2014, I was still a trustee of the American Schools of Oriental Research – and I continue to chair its Initiative on the Status of Women. These positions have given me a platform from which to work – and fortunately, the ASOR community has been fully supportive. Continue reading Keeping Archaeological Field Work Safe from Sexual Harassment and Physical Violence

Report on the “Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East”

The “Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East”1 took place in Barcelona February 1-3, 2017. The workshop was hosted by IPOA, the Institute of Ancient Near Eastern Studies of the University of Barcelona (Spain), and organized in cooperation with the Centre of Excellence in “Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions” (University of Helsinki, Finland). Organizers were Agnès Garcia-Ventura (IPOA, University of Barcelona) and Saana Svärd (University of Helsinki). The workshop was a continuation of the “First Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East.” The first workshop was organized by the same two scholars at the University of Helsinki in October 2014 and hosted by the Centre of Excellence in “Changes in Sacred Texts and Traditions.”

gender BCN 2017_group photo

The aim of both meetings was to discuss different methodological and theoretical approaches to gender within the framework of ancient Near Eastern studies (including archaeology, art history and text studies) and to enable fruitful dialogue between these approaches. Moreover, for this second workshop, colleagues from neighboring disciplines were also encouraged to submit proposals, in order to enrich these conversations further. As a result, the second workshop included colleagues from the disciplines of Assyriology, Archaeology, Egyptology, Phoenician and Punic studies, and Biblical studies (See the full program: Continue reading Report on the “Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East”

A Virtual Reality Project: Introducing a Queen to Nimrud’s Northwest Palace

NEW FIGURE 8 LSInc_NWP_ThroneRoom_4AGansell_LSInc_queen_34-frontal_4NEH_122716





I am pleased to announce the commencement of a Virtual Reality that will add a queen character to the long-established virtual model of Nimrud’s Northwest Palace1.

The Virtual Northwest Palace was established in the late 1990s, and has been expanded and developed since. It has been featured in classrooms, museums, and galleries, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem. For a peak, check out this fly-through video:

Missing from the virtual palace, in its present state, however, are any female characters. It is time to update our perceptions of history! Scholarship on Neo-Assyrian queens debunks old-fashioned visions of harems and establishes that royal women engaged in economic, diplomatic, and ritual activities. Within the palace, queens had their own scribes, managed their own households, and were vital counterparts to the king’s identity and authority. Continue reading A Virtual Reality Project: Introducing a Queen to Nimrud’s Northwest Palace

Ilan Peled: Masculinities and Third Gender

Capture d’écran 2017-02-25 à 16.45.06Masculinities and Third Gender: The Origins and Nature of an Institutionalized Gender Otherness in the Ancient Near East
By Ilan Peled
AOAT 435, 2016.

The aim of this book is to track a distinct human phenomenon in the history of the ancient Near East: persons who were born males, but under various social and historical circumstances their masculine identity was considered to be ambiguous. On the basis of this, these persons can be classified as belonging to a third gender They bore specific titles, and were engaged in cult or palace administration. The contexts of their documentation occasionally depict them as possessing or exhibiting traits that were uncharacteristic of the standard social expectations of men in Mesopotamia. The terms that describe these persons were grouped in numerous lexical lists, which supply us with the frame and boundaries of the present research. To a lesser extent, the grouping of these persons is apparent in narrative and literary compositions. The most notable of these titles were gala/kalû, assinnu, kurgarrû and lú-sag / ša rēši. Other similar titles that were documented less frequently were kulu’u, girseqû,tīru, SAG-UR-SAG, pilpilû, nāš pilaqqi, sinnišānu and parû. Their sexual and gender ambiguity was realized in numerous and diverse manners. Continue reading Ilan Peled: Masculinities and Third Gender

Call of papers (ASOR): Gender in the Ancient Near East

ASORSession Chairs: Stephanie Langin-Hooper, Southern Methodist University.

Description: Session explores the interface between gender and archaeology, and the ways in which archaeology and related disciplines can reconstruct the world of women and other gender groups in antiquity. Papers should explore subjects such as the household and domestic life, industry and commerce, religion, etc. Other topics may also be included.

Deadline by February the 15th. Further details on submission guidelines and registration, on ASOR website.

Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near

Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near East Universitat de Barcelona, February 1-3, 20171

Hosts: IPOA, Universitat de Barcelona and Centre of Excellence “Sacred Texts in Change” in the University of Helsinki

Conference venue: Universitat de Barcelona – Edifici Josep Carner (pl. Universitat, access through Aribau street, number 2), room 0.1 (ground floor). Nearest metro station: Universitat (lines 1 and 2) — Plaça de la Universitat – Google Maps

Organizers: Agnès Garcia-Ventura (IPOA, Universitat de Barcelona) / Saana Svärd (University of Helsinki)

Wednesday February 1st 2017

8.45-9.00: registration
9.00-9.45: welcome and introduction

9.00-9.15: Welcome: Adelina Millet Albà, director of the IPOA
9.15-9.45: Presentation and introduction to the workshop: Agnès Garcia-Ventura & Saana Svärd, “Studying Gender in the Ancient Near East: An Introduction”

9.45-11.15: panel 1

9.45-10.15: Ann Guinan, “Dressing the Whore of Babylon for the 21st Century: Sex, Gender and Theory in Mesopotamian Studies”
10.15-10.45: Gioele Zisa, “Queering šà Therapy. Considerations on the Relations between Masculinity, Sickness and Anatomy” Continue reading Second Workshop on Gender, Methodology and the Ancient Near

S. L. Budin & J. MacIntosh Turfa: Women in Antiquity (Routledge)

Women In Antiquity: Real Woman Across the Ancient WorldWomen in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World
Edited by Stephanie Lynn Budin, Jean MacIntosh Turfa, 2016, Routledge

This volume gathers brand new essays from some of the most respected scholars of ancient history, archaeology, and physical anthropology to create an engaging overview of the lives of women in antiquity. The book is divided into ten sections, nine focusing on a particular area, and also includes almost 200 images, maps, and charts. The sections cover Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, Cyprus, the Levant, the Aegean, Italy, and Western Europe, and include many lesser-known cultures such as the Celts, Iberia, Carthage, the Black Sea region, and Scandinavia. Women’s experiences are explored, from ordinary daily life to religious ritual and practice, to motherhood, childbirth, sex, and building a career. Forensic evidence is also treated for the actual bodies of ancient women.

Continue reading S. L. Budin & J. MacIntosh Turfa: Women in Antiquity (Routledge)

NEA latest issue: Gender Archaeology

Near Eastern Archaeology

Near Eastern Archaeology, special issue, Volume 79, Issue 3, september 20161

  • Jane Peterson: Woman’s Share in Neolithic Society: A View from the Southern Levant

    Early farming groups set into motion substantial, even revolutionary, socioeconomic changes dur- ing the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (ca. 10,500– 6,000 cal. b.c.e.) in the southern Levant of South- west Asia. Social organizational structures capable of addressing new opportunities and challenges would have been integral… ☛

  • Maria Mina: Was It a Man’s World? Gender Relationships at the Transition to the Bronze Age in Cyprus

    This article examines whether the apparently equitable gender relationships of the Chalcolithic period in Cyprus were replaced by gender in- equality in the Bronze Age. The discussion critiques the axioms … ☛

Continue reading NEA latest issue: Gender Archaeology

For Scholars Studying Gender and/or Agency from Ancient Near Eastern and Late Antiquity Civilizations