Module Catalogue 2023/24

ARA3121 : Sex, bodies and identities in Classical Greece

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sally Waite
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to acquaint students with current discussions concerning issues of identity and its embodiment in Greek antiquity through analysis of written, visual and material evidence. It will look at the human body to understand its central role in the construction of different aspects of identity such as gender, sexuality and ethnicity engaging critically with approaches drawn from gender and feminist theory. The focus is on sex, bodies and identities throughout the extended life course, from infancy to the construction of identity after death.

Students have the opportunity to work closely with some objects from the Shefton Collection whilst exploring the module themes. The module will offer students a detailed introduction to major categories of Greek art-historical and archaeological material, demonstrating the ways in which the study of artefacts illuminates broader patterns within Greek society.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics may include:

The material culture of children
Rites of passage
Dress and the body
The construction of femininity
Masculinity and the body politic
Death and disembodiment

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module students will be familiar with aspects of sex, bodies and identities in ancient Greece from a literary, archaeological and art historical perspective. It is expected that students will be able to critically evaluate the concepts and sources introduced in the module. They will have formed independent ideas about cultural constructs and attitudes towards sex, bodies and identities in the past and the present.

Intended Skill Outcomes

In order to complete the module successfully, all students must demonstrate that they have
developed the following intellectual skills:

Research skills requiring critical reading and reasoning, sustained discussion and appropriate presentation of the results
Reading, understanding, critiquing historical, art-historical and archaeological data.
Analysing and evaluating art-historians’ and archaeologists’ use of evidence.
Students will also develop the following key skills:
- Time management
- Bibliographic and library skills
- Oral discussion, debate and presentation skills
- Writing and revising analytic prose

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture211:0021:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion501:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading491:0049:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities181:0018:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00GNM
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00GNM handling
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
ARA8129Sex, bodies and identities in Classical Greece
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture and seminars introduce topics, material and approaches and encourage questioning of the material.
Lectures impart core knowledge and an outline of knowledge that students are expected to acquire and they facilitate development of listening and note-taking skills.
The small group seminars encourage oral discussion and debate.
The workshops introduce the students to the Greek collections in the GNM and draw attention
to items of special relevance for the module.
The online surgeries allow for students to seek guidance especially about the assignments.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M501500 words excluding bibliography
Design/Creative proj2A501500 word exhibition
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Design/Creative proj2Mproposal 500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Submitted work (essay and creative project) develops key skills in research, reading and writing and assesses intended knowledge and skills outcomes including independent thinking and the ability to critically evaluate the concepts and sources introduced in the module.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.