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Anchoring Innovation Fellow Lecture Dr. Dawn LaValle Norman​

When:Tu 03-05-2022 15:00 - 17:00
Where:UU, Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht

Anchoring Innovation Fellow’s Lecture Dr Dawn LaValle Norman

Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry, ACU, Melbourne,
Anchoring Innovation Fellow, Utrecht University 2020, 2022.

Title: Women in Four Symposia: Female Characters as Anchors for Philosophical Innovation

Date and time: Tuesday 3 May 2022, 15-17hrs CEST

Venue: UU, Sweelinckzaal, Drift 21, Utrecht


Some attractions of attending an ancient symposium were the women who might be there. Hetaerae could titillate, female acrobats could turn somersaults, and female musicians were at hand for aural pleasure, all while your own wife was safely at home. Women were part of the pleasure package available to male sympotic participants. It comes as something of a surprise then, that there is a small but strong tradition of including women in philosophical dialogues set at symposia not as entertainers, but as esteemed intellectual participants. This lecture will track the changes in how women were present at literary depictions of symposia, especially in their changing verbal participation from the Classical period to Late Antiquity.

The presence of women in the first Symposia of Plato and Xenophon permitted the Imperial writers of Symposia, Plutarch and Methodius of Olympus, to play with the relationship between gender and philosophy in their use of the female voice.

For more information contact: t.l.tieleman