76 A GSAG Story :)


And just like that another semester has gone by. Oh my goodness!! That was… hard? Rewarding? Definitely will be a semester (and year for that matter) to remember. I was inspired by the “story” prompt of workshop 12 which asked what our class story is. There will be many notable stories that come out of this present time, and I really liked weaving GSAG into all of our experiences this semester as a unifying thread tying our narratives together. We sure all have gone through the good, bad, and ugly during this time and have gotten/are getting through it as a collective. This feels really comforting. Togetherness, presence, even if it’s not physically.

Here are three main themes from this semester that I think have defined our class and our shared experiences with each other:


I first just wanted to thank everyone for making the GSAG community such an encouraging and safe space to be vulnerable and to have mehhhh days. Throughout the semester, a common theme I heard was how this class was a place of rejuvenation and healing for a lot of people (while simultaneously doing really educative and kick ass work- How does Jody do it!!??). This class felt like a mental re-centering, where a focus on the self and one’s emotional well-being and relationships were brought to attention. The workshops where we identified emotions within our own bodies, like the feelings of anger one, meditation and breathing exercises, creative and open-ended pressbook assignments, and time before workshops to check in on each other were all really effective at re-centering the self. While we have all gone through a lot of shit together this semester, I think it is really powerful how we also found this space as a way to heal together and do some awesome, meaningful work.

Prioritizing Oneself:

Another thing I noticed this semester is that people did what they wanted to do and found really creative and educative outlets in doing so. This semester has been important in realizing what I actually enjoy working on and prioritizing that. A lot has been taken away from us as students and professors, and I think this shift is a manifestation of trying to regain control over what we do have. No, I would rather not read my computational textbook as a supplement to classwork, but oh hell yes do I want to sit outside and read Anne Carson’s If Not, Winter with a glass of wine and my colored highlighters. And that is precisely what I did… haha. Of course there will be assignments I won’t have any motivation to do but will still complete anyways, but I think leaning into this more personalized, “selfish” learning experience shifts towards a more enjoyable balance of defining our own experience in academia. I was so impressed by how creative everyone was with their pressbook contributions, utilizing family tree diagrams, paintings, recipe pages, video chats while knitting, etc to merge personal passions with thoughtful work.

Challenging what’s written:

The class’s work on writing counter-narratives has been really important in challenging what is directly written on the page and diving deeper into the messages/stories hidden within. There were so many times in reading everyone’s pressbook contributions where I was like “damn, I never thought about it that way, that’s brilliant”. As Dan-el Padilla’s work to tear down Classics proves, one cannot be complacent in a field ridden with racism and sexism, but instead must actively challenge and question established conclusions about the ancient world. While I have read parts of the Iliad and Odyssey before, our class’s discussions were fresh and inspiring as they did not focus on Achilles’s “kleos” or Odysseus’s “cleverness” for the entire time. It was much more fascinating and meaningful to unpack characters like Circe and Chryseis and hear them speak through the text.


Thank you so much to everyone for an incredible GSAG semester together!!  I am so excited for our upcoming movie nights together 🙂


-Kate Shimamoto


Gender & Sexuality in Ancient Greece Copyright © by kksa2018. All Rights Reserved.

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