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Ancient Views on Gender Fluidity

Ancient Views on Gender Fluidity

  • Date22 December 2022

"We were absolutely delighted with the talk that Dr Hawley delivered at our school to a group of Year 11, 12, and 13 students."


Dr. Richard Hawley of the Classics Department at Royal Holloway gave a workshop entitled ‘The Greeks invented it’: The Ancient History of Gender Fluidity to North London Collegiate School on 29th September. The workshop explored how the ancient Greeks were perhaps more ‘modern’ than we might at first think when it came to gender fluidity.

Dr. Ed Pike, Head of Classics, notes: 

‘We were absolutely delighted with the talk that Dr Hawley delivered at our school to a group of Year 11, 12, and 13 students. Not only was he very enthusiastic about the prospect of talking to our students about gender fluidity, a subject which interests our students, but he was also incredibly helpful in the run-up to the talk. We exchanged several emails about the specific topic and about the best ways to deliver the session. That care and thoughtfulness had a great impact and the talk was followed by many questions from our students, who had been enthralled and engaged by Dr Hawley’s mix of ancient detail with modern issues. He was also a delightful guest in our school, taking a great interest in the how we deliver Classics and sharing ideas about how to promote the subjects that we teach.’

One of the students also commented:

It was great to enrich my knowledge of texts I’ve studied, like Aristophanes and Sophocles, and I was told by my (non-classicist) friends how they enjoyed learning, for the first time, about gender and sexuality in the ancient world. We also enjoyed thinking about the impact of ancient notions of gender on the modern world, what has changed and what has stayed the same.’

Dr. Hawley is one of our team of Classics Department staff keen to visit schools and colleges, either in person or remotely, to offer workshops and presentations on a wide variety of classical subjects, including ancient Greek and Latin languages, literature, ancient history, archaeology and material culture. See some of our possible workshop topics here For further information, please email Dr. Richard Hawley:

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