Molly Pasco-Pranger will present a talk that explores the dynamics of women’s public nudity in the early Roman empire. The talk will be centered on the Floralia, a festival in ancient Roman religious practice in honor of the goddess Flora, and on the respective social and spatial contexts of that festival: the baths and the theater. In the early empire, these two social spaces regularly remove or complicate some of the markers that divide Roman women by sociosexual status. The festival and the ritual nudity within it focuses attention on the negotiations of social boundaries within these spaces, and the occasions for cross-class identification among women they provide.
Molly Pasco-Pranger is Associate Professor and Chair of Classics at the University of Mississippi. Pasco-Pranger earned her BA in Latin at Oberlin College in 1992 and her PhD in classics at the University of Michigan in 1998. She taught for four years at the University of Puget Sound and four years at Wesleyan University before joining the University of Mississippi Department of Classics in 2006; she has served as department chair since 2013. She was awarded the College of Liberal Arts’ 2018 Cora Lee Graham Award for Outstanding Teaching of Freshmen.
Pasco-Pranger works on Roman literature and social history and has published several articles and a book on Ovid’s Fasti and the Roman calendar, on Latin elegy, and on Cato the Elder. She teaches Latin at all undergraduate levels, Greek when she gets a chance, and a variety of undergraduate courses in Greek and Roman civilization and literature.