University of Reading

LGBT+ Classics: Teaching, Research, and Activism


Description and organization

Organised by: Katherine Harloe, Talitha Kearey, and Irene Salvo

The Women’s Classical Committee UK is organising a one-day workshop on Classics and Queer studies to highlight current projects and activities that embrace the intersections of research, teaching, public engagement, and activism.

The day will feature a series of talks and a roundtable bringing together academics in Classics (and related fields), LGBT+ activists, museum curators and those working in other areas of outreach and public engagement. We intend to explore how LGBT+ themes are included in Classics curricula; how public engagement with queer Classics and history of sexualities can contribute to fight homophobia and transphobia; and the ways in which the boundaries between research, teaching, and activism can be crossed. The roundtable will focus in particular on strategies of support for LGBT+ students and staff, current policies in Higher Education, and what still needs to be improved. Confirmed speakers include: Beth Asbury, Clara Barker, Alan Greaves, Jennifer Grove, Rebecca Langlands, Sebastian Matzner, Cheryl Morgan, and Maria Moscati. Jennifer Ingleheart (Durham University) will deliver the keynote address ‘Queer Classics: sexuality, scholarship, and the personal’.

We are also reserving time during the day’s schedule for a series of short (five-minute) spotlight talks by delegates. Through this session, we hope to provide a chance for delegates to share research projects, teaching programmes, and experiences related to LGBT+ issues. We are particularly interested in spotlight talks on:

– new queer and gender-informed work in classics, ancient history, archaeology, papyrology, philosophy, or classical reception;

– fresh ideas on teaching the history of queerness through texts and material culture;

– the difficulties and discriminatory experiences encountered by members of staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and early-career researchers, because of their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

If you would like more information or to volunteer to give one of these talks, please e-mail Irene Salvo, LBGT+ liaison officer, The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 5th December 2017.

People of any gender expression or identity who support the WCC’s aims are welcome to attend this event. For further details, see our website at

Attendance is free for WCC UK members, £10 for non-members (to cover catering costs). You can join the WCC UK here (and if you’re a student, underemployed, or unemployed, membership is only £5). As with all WCC events, travel bursaries will be available for students and the un/under-employed.

The WCC is committed to providing friendly and accessible environments for its events, so please do get in touch if you have any access, dietary, or childcare inquiries. For a full statement of the WCC’s childcare policy please see here   


09.45 – Registration desk opens

10.15 – Welcome and Introduction, with a message from Deborah Kamen (Seattle), Co-Chair of the Lambda Classical Caucus

10.30 – Sebastian Matzner (KCL, London): Queer Connections: Classics and the Gay Science

10.55 – Beth Asbury, Jozie Kettle, Clara Barker (Oxford): Out in Oxford: Hidden Stories in Plain Sight

11.30 – Coffee break

11.45 – Spotlight Talks

Alan Greaves (Liverpool): Transgender Lives in Classics: An Example of Museum-based Learning
Kate Nichols (Birmingham): Working with Students to Queer University Collections
Rebecca Mellor (York): Queer There and Everywhere
Chris Mowat (Newcastle): The Place of Classics in LGBT Public History
Mara Gold (Oxford): Beyond Sappho: Classics and the Development of Modern Lesbian Culture
Jessica Moody (Birkbeck): Lesbian Hellenism? How Fin de Siècle Female Classicists Challenged our Queer Histories

13.00 – Lunch

14.00 – Jen Grove and Rebecca Langlands (Exeter): Ancient Artefacts and Sex Education: Exploring Gender and Sexual Diversity with the University of Exeter’s “Sex & History” project

14.35 – Cheryl Morgan (co-chair of OutStories Bristol): How Not to Erase Trans History

15.00 – Nicki Ward (Birmingham): Sharing Good Practice: A Model for Embedding LGBTQ Inclusivity in the Curriculum.

15.25 – Maria Moscati (Sussex): Starting as Researcher and Becoming an Activist

15.50 – Coffee break

16.05 –  Round table on policies and support strategies with Clara Barker (Oxford), Simon Chandler-Wilde (Reading), Alyssa Henley (SupportU), Alan Greaves (Liverpool) and Jessica Moody (ECU).

16.35 – Concluding discussion

17.15 – Keynote address by Jennifer Ingleheart (Durham):Queer Classics: Sexuality, Scholarship, and the Personal18.15 – Drinks reception


(Text by the organizers)