March 30, 2023: Classical Studies Speaker Series
Dr. Dean Hammer, Franklin and Marshall
"Citizen Bodies: Gladiators, Bare-Knuckle Boxers, and the Fight for Identity"
This talk explores the role of the physical body in constructing citizen-identity. Rather than looking at elite efforts to define these markers of belonging, I look at two bodies on the margins of citizenship and the role these bodies play in organizing a citizen-identity: that of the professional gladiators who entered into a contract and that of bare-knuckle boxers in early nineteenth century America. Both bodies were legally and culturally proscribed. But both bodies also resisted inscription, their physicality valorized as an image of the citizen-body. What we see in ancient Rome and in our contemporary world are contested images of what the citizen looks like, making the boundaries of identity and belonging less certain, more diffuse, and more adversarial.
Location: Persimmon Room, IMU
Contact Alyson Melzer (email@example.com) for more info!