Illinois State University Assistant Professor of History Georgia Tsouvala, Ph.D. will visit Newman University to lecture on her most recent publication, Before Title IX: Women Athletes in Ancient Greece and Rome. The lecture, which kicks off Newman’s annual History Speaker Series, will take place tonight at 7 p.m. in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center on the Newman University campus. The program is free and open to the public.
“In general the NU History Department Speaker Series offers our students and university community the opportunity to hear from an expert in history, not otherwise represented by our department,” said Newman University Associate Professor of History Cheryl Golden, Ph.D. “This is a way for our students to get greater perspective on issues in history. Dr. Tsouvala’s talk offers a unique perspective on not only women’s history in antiquity but also the history of spectacle, sports and ancient culture.”
The lecture will introduce and explain the common misperceptions regarding women in the ancient Mediterranean region. Traditionally, scholars have noted that “proper” Greek and Roman women were banned from participation in any public event excluding religious ceremonies. Spectator sports and competitions were reserved for men. In Tsouvala’s research, she has discovered that women actually played a significant role in athletics during the time of ancient Greece and Rome.
Tsouvala is heavily involved in the research of ancient history. In addition to her role as assistant professor of history, she is a member of the Graduate School faculty and an affiliated faculty member of the Women and Gender Studies Program, all at Illinois State University. She specializes in Greek history, literature, and epigraphy. Her current research and publications include Plutarch and the history of Greece during the early Empire, Boiotian inscriptions, and ancient gender studies. Tsouvala has published articles, presented papers and lectured widely on women and athletics in ancient Greece and Rome and other topics.