Since 2011, the AWAWS Melbourne Chapter has been holding regular events, including two social dinners per year. Please find below details about upcoming meetings, as well as some past lectures and other activities. To contact us directly, please email


On 15 September, AWAWS Melbourne welcomed Elizabeth Stockdale, PhD Candidate in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University to give a public lecture about her research. Entitled ‘The Feminine Gaze in War: Helen on the Walls and Antigone on the Roof’, the lecture performed a fascinating and well-received scene comparison between Iliad, book 3, and Euripides’ Phoenissae, lines 88-201. The event managed to attract 30 or so people on a wet Friday night and was generously hosted by the Ithacan Philanthropic Society.

Elizabeth Stockdale’s Lecture Abstract:
The scene depicting Helen on the walls of Troy from Iliad III.139-258 has been appropriated in modern art by de Morgan, Moreau, Sandys, and Leighton. The image of Helen on the walls is what is captured from the Greek epic. However, Greek people in antiquity learnt their Homer by heart; the ‘Troy stories’ originally were oral, and ancient Greek culture was one of words, of listening and remembering. As a result, ancient Greek literature often has ‘Homeric borrowings’ as Homer was, and is, so entrenched in the Greek psyche. Greek drama has Homeric allusions including glimpses of references to Helen, including one whole play Helen by Euripides. This paper examines Euripides’ Phoenissae lines 88-201.This scene is special because it includes not only Homeric allusions, but a complete lifting of the scene of Helen on the walls with Priam from book III of the Iliad. It reverses the questioning and response dialogue in Homer as well as the metre. Where Helen responds, Antigone questions. Both scenes demonstrate what women say about men at war. While in the Iliad Helen remains emotionally detached, in Euripides’ play Antigone shows her rising fear. Euripides’ adaption of this whole Homeric scene is important because it demonstrates that in fifth century drama not only the importance of Homer, but also that of a woman’s gaze and voice in war.


Digital Literacies and Pedagogy Forum, Wednesday 15th of February

Followed by a local chapter meeting, including voting in of new co-chairs, and an informal social event.

Dr Rhiannon Evans – Classical and Digital Literacies for Undergraduate Students
The digital revolution has made ancient texts, images and scholarship widely and instantly available to students. Access to classical culture has never been easier, but also lays students open to a minefield of unverified, unreliable and ideologically motivated information. While they are attempting to master the conventions of classical studies, they must now also learn to navigate its presentation in the digital world. We will look at some of the problems faced by students and ways to help them to extract valuable data for their studies.

Dr Sarah Midford – Teaching in the Digital World: Designing Online Curriculum and Resources
Teaching online is more than just uploading subject content into a digital space. Although students often claim to want the flexibility of online delivery, their engagement in the subject matter often suffers when it is delivered online. The art of online curriculum design lies in creating new curriculum, assessment and resources that complement the online environment without compromising subject content, that draw on and extend students’ digital literacies. This talk will focus on some creative ways to deliver curriculum online and look at ways to enhance the online learning experience for students and teachers.

Dr Sonya Wurster – Female Academics and the Leaking Pipeline
The leaking pipeline refers to the disproportionate number of women who exit the university system as they progress from graduate study to an academic career and then beyond. This presentation will look at this phenomenon in Classics and archaeology drawing on data from Australia, the UK and Canada to demonstrate its existence. It will suggest that the causes for the leaking pipeline include: parenthood; the metrics used for hiring and promotions; a system that works better for men; and the fallacy of meritocracy and individualism.


May 2016 Dr Estelle Strazdins_The Epitaphic Habit









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