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Fragmented Women:

The Female Characters of Fragmentary Greek Tragedy




8-9 July 2016


8 July: 10am - 6pm
9 July: 9.30am - 4pm


Rooms E125, E126, E127
The Portland Building, University of Nottingham


Full delegate rate £50.00
Delegate Single day rate £25.00
Student and concessionary rate £30.00
Student and concessionary single day rate £15.00


Keynote speakers

Lucia Athanassaki, University of Crete: ‘The fragmented priestess of Athena Polias in Euripides’ Erechtheus’.

Luigi Battezzato, University of Piemonte Orientale: ‘Pasiphae in Euripides (Cretans fr. 472e)’.

Marco Catrambone, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa: ‘Female speech and fragments’.

Lyndsay Coo, University of Bristol: ‘Fragmented sisterhood’.

Bob Cowan, University of Sydney: ‘When mothers turn bad … The perversion of the maternal ideal in the fragments of Sophocles’.

Patrick Finglass, University of Nottingham: ‘“. . . soul . . . terrible, o wretched . . . unhappy”: the song of Euripides’ Ino’.

Helene Foley, Barnard College, Columbia University: ‘Heterosexual bonding in the fragments of Euripides’.

Fiona McHardy, University of Roehampton: ‘Female violence in Greek tragic fragments’.

Niall Slater, Emory University: ‘Europa revisited: an experiment in characterization?’

Alan Sommerstein, University of Nottingham: ‘Women in love in the fragmentary plays of Sophocles’.

Anna Uhlig, University of California, Davis: ‘δελφινηρὸν πεδίον πόντου: staging Aeschylus’ Nereides’.

Erika Weiberg, Florida State University: ‘Class anxiety in “The Girl’s Tragedy”: the rape plots of Euripides’ fragmentary tragedies’.

Matthew Wright, University of Exeter: ‘Other Medeas’.

Conference Overview

In this conference, we propose to take a subject at the heart of modern interpretive work on Greek tragedy – the portrayal of female characters – and to approach it with a new focus on ‘the fragments’, always emphasising that this was not a category that would have made sense to the audiences which saw and appreciated these plays in antiquity.

Figures from the extant plays, such as Aeschylus’ Clytemnestra, Sophocles’ Antigone, and Euripides’ Medea have dominated our conception of tragic women for centuries, forming the basis of seminal work on the ancient representation of gender, sexuality, and the family.

What would happen if we replaced these paradigmatic figures with characters from the fragments: Niobe, Procne, Praxithea, Antiope, and Ino, to name but a few? How might current approaches illuminate these texts, and, conversely, how might these characters offer fresh perspectives on familiar questions?

By taking the vantage point of the playwrights’ entire oeuvres, we hope to provoke a fundamental reassessment of approaches to female characters in Greek tragedy.

Conference essentials





The University of Nottingham
University Park

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 5151