Bard Events Calendar

Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Classical Studies Program, Art History Program, and Language and Literature Present

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Grammatical Gender and Biological Sex: The Invention of Heterosexuality in Ancient Rome

Olin, Room 102
6:00 pm

Anthony Philip Corbeill

This talk explores how the daily use by Latin speakers of a single linguistic category—grammatical gender—cultivates a sensitivity to the role of biological sex in Roman perceptions of both the human and more-than-human realms. The presentation has four parts: first, a demonstration that ancient scholars viewed grammatical gender as intricately connected with biological sex, even in the case of inanimate nouns; next the ways in which an awareness of this identification of grammar with biology enhances appreciation of Roman poetry; third, how the Romans imagined their earliest gods; and, finally, Roman attitudes toward human hermaphrodites and their visual representation. No knowledge of Latin, or of ancient Rome, is necessary.

A Lecture by
Anthony Philip Corbeill
Professor of Classics, University of Kansas
Blegen Research Fellow, Vassar College

For more information, call 845-758-7158, or e-mail

Time: 6:00 pm

Location: Olin, Room 102