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Tuesday, June 28 • 8:30am - 9:30am
9C1 Penelope's Loom - A Survey of Women's Work

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Penelope sits at the heart of The Odyssey. Her three years’ ruse of weaving a burial shroud shows that she is as cunning as Odysseus – but are the suitors really that clueless about the rhythms and progress of women’s work, or is women’s work really that invisible?

We will explore how the stages from fiber source to finished cloth are depicted in Classical art and text. Our examples will include Egypt’s linen industry and Rome’s wool togas. Despite the honorable epitaph, “She spun wool,” no Roman woman could clothe her family by herself – as a brief demonstration of drop-spindle technique will readily show! Dozens of hands, and hundreds of hours of fiber preparation, spinning and weaving underpin Quintus’ new toga or a mummy’s wrappings! Attendees will receive an e-file of the presentation, along with further culture resources for use in the classroom.


Ryan Sellers

Memphis University School


Tuesday June 28, 2016 8:30am - 9:30am
San Jacinto Center Rooms 208/210

Attendees (20)