Sex and Slavery
An international conference co-organised by the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History (Leicester),
the Department of Classics (Nottingham) and the Institute for the Study Of Slavery (ISOS)
Nottingham, 13-14 September 2012
As part of the ongoing collaboration between Nottingham and Leicester, we are pleased to announce an
international conference on Sex and Slavery. Sexual activity involving individuals of unfree or slave status
is known throughout slave-owning societies. Sex is often a tool through which power relationships and
dominance can be asserted; however, sex can also be means through which power relations are blurred and
We approach the topic from an interdisciplinary, global and diachronic perspective which reaches from
antiquity to the present. Ten speakers specialising on different areas and periods have been invited to give
papers on a range of aspects, while another ten scholars will provide responses to these papers. In order to
enhance and focus comparison, we have invited scholars specialising on modern slaveries to respond to papers
on ancient slaveries and vice versa.
The provisional programme is as follows:
Thursday, September 13th 2012
10.30-11.30 Camillia Cowling (Edinburgh): ‘Carnal Acts’: sex and the significance of freedom for ex-slave
women in Havana and Rio de Janeiro, 1870s-1880s. Respondent: Kostas Vlassopoulos (Nottingham).
11.45-12.45 Andrea Nicholson (Nottingham Trent): Exploring cultural identity in contemporary female slavery.
Respondent: David Lewis (Durham).
14.15-16.15 Constantina Katsari (Leicester): Slaves, sex and money in the Roman world and the antebellum
American South. Respondent: Yossef Rapoport (Queen Mary)
Susanne Seymour (Nottingham): Reproducing slavery: planters ʽbreedingʼ schemes and enslaved African women on
early 19th-century plantations in Grenada. Respondent: Niall McKeown (Birmingham).
16.45-17.45 Walter Scheidel (Stanford): Sex, slavery, and the cultural evolution of normative monogamy.
Respondent: David Mattingly (Leicester).
17.45-18.15 General discussion
Friday, September 14th 2012
10.45-11.45 Lynn Fotheringham (Nottingham): Offspring of slave and free in historical novels set in Greece
and Rome. Respondent: Melanie Ulz (Osnabruck).
12.00-13.00 Judith Mossman (Nottingham): Becoming slaves: Hecuba and Andromache in Euripidesʼ Trojan Women.
Respondent: Jonathan Taylor (De Montfort).
14.00-16.00 Esther Eidinow (Nottingham): Ancient Greek slavery and sexuality: strategies and risks.
Respondent: Gad Heuman (Warwick).
Jane-Marie Collins (Nottingham): ‘Declaro que sempre me conservei no estado de solteira e nunca tive filhos’:
symbolic celibacy, childlessness and the religiosity of freed women in nineteenth-century Brazil. Respondent:
Jennifer Baird (Birkbeck).
16.15-17.15 Junia Ferreira Furtado (UFMG/Brazil): Women of color and slavery in colonial Brazil. Respondent:
Lin Foxhall (Leicester).
17.15-18.15 General discussion and future prospects
Those willing to attend the conference can register online at
For any queries concerning registration, please contact Heather Sowter:
heather.sowter AT nottingham.ac.uk
For any queries concerning the conference, please contact Kostas
Vlassopoulos: konstantinos.vlassopoulos@ AT nottingham.ac.uk
Constantina Katsari (Leicester)
Naoise Mac Sweeney (Leicester)
Kostas Vlassopoulos (Nottingham)