The use of concepts developed in gender studies has significantly transformed research in classical studies, opening up a new and extremely fruitful field of cultural and social analysis. Inasmuch as many ideas and values that have played a major role in the construction of cultural and social identities in later western societies originate in classical antiquity, the texts and artifacts surviving from the ancient Mediterranean cultures represent an outstandingly productive field of application for gendered theoretical perspectives. Inquiries conducted into the relations among women, between women and men, among men, and on modes of constructing what qualifies as “feminine” and “masculine” have shed new light on the distinctive ways that ancient societies and cultures functioned, and are of major relevance for studying the reception of antiquity in western cultures.
In the general framework of studies on gender in Antiquity, the electronic journal Eugesta plays a special role as a virtual place for meeting and exchange between North American and European researchers.
Eugesta was created in 2011 by Jacqueline Fabre-Serris (Lille) and Judith Hallett (Maryland) in connection with the research network of the same name, EuGeStA (“European Network on Gender Studies in Antiquity”). This network, created by Jacqueline Fabre-Serris in 2009 and supported by the center Halma – UMR 8164 (CNRS, Univ. Lille, MC), brings together specialists in different areas of Antiquity (Middle East, Egypt, Greece and Rome) whose work integrates the perspectives developed in Gender Studies in different disciplines: archaeology, economics, law, literature, medicine, philosophy, history, art history, religion, reception of Antiquity… The institutional members of EuGeStA are the Universities of Basel (Lead: Henriette Harich), Bern (Lead: Thomas Späth), Exeter (Lead: Rebecca Langlands), Fribourg (Lead: Véronique Dasen), Lille (Lead: Jacqueline Fabre-Serris), Manchester (Lead: Alison Sharrock), Munich (Lead: Therese Führer), the Open University (Lead: James Robson), Paris 1 (Lead: Violaine Sebillotte-Cuchet), Toronto (Lead: Alison Keith), Turin (Lead: Federica Bessone), and UCLA (Lead: Giulia Sissa). Since its founding in 2009, the EuGeStA network has developed ties with the Women’s Classical Caucus of the Society for Classical Studies (previously named the American Philological Association) through the forging of affiliations with several individual American and Canadian female and male classicists as associate members (see eugesta.recherche.univ-lille3.fr). The journal Eugesta is the major project to result from the collaborative endeavors begun through these ties and pursued through panels labelled as representing EuGeStA in international meetings organized in Europe and North-America.
The composition of the editorial board, drawn from members of the network EuGeStA, addresses two specifications of the journal: it is conceived as a virtual meeting place for European and North American researchers, and promotes multilingualism among them.
In its initial version, the scientific committee was composed of researchers in charge of the network EuGeStA in each partner university. It was expanded by adding other international specialists of Gender in Antiquity, all associate members of the network EuGeStA.