Symposium: Women at the Dawn of History

Event time: 
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:30pm
KGL Auditorium See map
180 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06520
Event description: 

Saturday, February 29, 2020 – 9:30am to 4:30pm

KGL auditorium, Yale Peabody Museum

In the patriarchal world of ancient Mesopotamia, women were often represented in their relation to men—as mothers, daughters, or wives—giving the impression that a woman’s place was in the home. But, as we explore in this symposium, they were also authors and scholars, astute business-women, sources of expressions of eroticism, priestesses with access to major gods and goddesses, and regents who exercised power on behalf of kingdoms, states, and empires.

This full-day symposium features talks, discussions, and museum displays exploring the roles and representations of women in ancient Mesopotamia. Zainab Bahrani (Columbia University), author of the acclaimed book Women of Babylon, will deliver the keynote address.

Please register here:

Ticket price includes the newly released book, Women at the Dawn of History, edited by Agnete W. Lassen and Klaus Wagensonner. Tickets also include a light breakfast and lunch, as well as exclusive tours of the exhibitions: Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks at the Yale Peabody Museum and Women at the Dawn of History at the Yale Sterling Memorial Library.


9:30     Breakfast

10:00   Irene Peirano Garrison (Yale University): Opening Remarks 

10:15   Amy Gansell (St. John’s University): The Beauty and Power of Ancient Assyrian Queens at Nimrud’s Northwest Palace

11:00   Break

11:15   Eckart Frahm (Yale University): From Sammu-ramat to Semiramis and Beyond: Metamorphoses of an Assyrian Queen

11:45   Klaus Wagensonner (Yale University): Between History and Fiction: Enheduana, the First Woman Poet in World Literature 

12:15   Lunch

1:30     Agnete W. Lassen (Yale University): Women and Seals in the Ancient Near East   

2:00     Zainab Bahrani (Columbia University): Accompanied by her own Image: Gender and Representation Revisited

2:45     Kathryn Slanski (Yale University): Response

General Discussion

3:15     “Ancient Mesopotamia Speaks” viewing 

(3:45-4:00: walk to SML)

4:00     Guided tour of “Women at the Dawn of History,” Sterling Memorial Library