12. Online 2021

12th Enoch Nangeroni Meeting: “Constructions of Gender in Late Antiquity”

Chairs: Kathy Ehrensperger (Abraham Geiger Kolleg) and Shayna Sheinfeld (Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, Sheffield University)

Secretary: Joshua Scott (University of Michigan – Ann Arbor)

Date: 18-22 July 2021

Location: Online

Following up on the Enoch Nangeroni Seminar on Gender and Second Temple Judaism (Rome, 2018), this seminar extends the research done in that earlier seminar in order to examine both the continuity and the shifts in the construction of gender as we move into the early 2nd–8th centuries. Our work together in this seminar emphasizes the need for interdisciplinary scholarly discussion across different time periods that are in many ways arbitrary and anachronistic. Participants in this seminar will utilize explicit methodology in their reconstruction of gender from the ancient textual and material sources in the areas of Judaism, Christianity, early Isalm, and Roman religions.

Participants include notable scholars Bernadette Brooten, Kecia Ali, Peter Mena, Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Carly Daniel-Hughes, Jens Schröter, and Daniel Boyarin.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions, please contact Joshua Scott (scottjos@umich.edu) to be added to our email list.

Provisional Schedule
–Sunday, 18 July–

13:00 – 16:00 Registration

17:00 Welcome & Opening (Session 1)

  • Chairs: Kathy Ehrensperger, Shayna Sheinfeld

20:00 Dinner: Participants, spouses, and children welcome

–Monday, 19 July–

09:00 – 10:45 Session 2

  • Session Chair: Shayna Sheinfeld
  • Bernadette Brooten, “Rabbinic Construals of Non-Binary Humans Brought into Conversation with Ancient Astrology and Medicine”
  • Respondent

11:15 – 13:00 Session 3

  • Session Chair: Kathy Ehrensperger
  • Kecia Ali, “The Female Captive in Early Islamic Legal Sources”
  • Respondent

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch: Participants, spouses, and children welcome

14:30 – 16:15 Session 4 – Short Papers

-Session 4.1

  • Session Chair: Al Baumgarten
  • Saadia Yacoob, (gender & early Islamic law)
  • Sara Parks, “Misogyny and Anti-Judaism at the Parting of the Ways
  • Maia Kotrosis, “”The Promise of Arrival: Journeys, Gender, and the Transformative Potential of Elsewhere”
  • Shayna Sheinfeld, “A Millstone Around the Neck: Marriage and Torah Study in the Talmud”

-Session 4.2

  • Session Chair: Joshua Scott
  • Catherine Bonesho, “Friend or Foe?: Cleopatra in Rabbinic Literature”
  • Andrew Higginbotham, “Shush Salome, your brother Shimon is speaking!”: A Peculiar Pattern of Palestinian Passivation”
  • Channah Fonseca-Quezada, “Unyielding: Analysis of Lilith and the woman of 4Q184”
  • Alison Vacca, (early islam)

16:45 – 18:30 Session 5

  • Session Chair:
  • Jens Schröter, “Gender Construction in Apocryphal Gospels: Male and Female Apostles in the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary”
  • Respondent: Matthew Anderson

Late Reception

20:00 Dinner on your own

–Tuesday, 20 July–

09:00 – 10:45 Session 6

  • Session Chair: Gabriele Boccaccini
  • Peter Mena, “Performing Thecla: Gender Performance and the Theater in Ancient Christian Apocrypha”
  • Respondent:

11:15 – 13:00 Session 7 – Short Papers

  • Session Chair:
  • Rachel Neis, (theorize late ancient Jewish gender, generation, and knowledge explicitly within the context of feminist science studies and feminist new materialisms)
  • Lily Vuong, ““Virginity, Marriage, and Motherhood: Competing Models of the Ideal Feminine in the Acts of Thecla and Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena.”
  • Matthew Hotham, (topic: women as tempters in early ascetic proto-sufi writings)
  • Krista Dalton, “Torah and Testosterone: The Performativity of Rabbinic Expertise”

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch: Participants, spouses, and children welcome

16:00 – 19:00 Field Trip

19:00 Dinner on your own

–Wednesday, 21 July–

09:00 – 10:45 Session 8

  • Session Chair: Shayna Sheinfeld
  • Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, “The literary construction of Gender: The figure of Ifra Hormiz in the Babylonian Talmud”
  • Respondent:

11:15 – 13:00 Session 9 – Short Papers

-Session 9.1

  • Session Chair:
  • Sarit Kattan Gribetz, “”Forget about Eve: Methodological Reflections about Studying Women in Antiquity.”
  • Angela Standhartinger, “Constructions of Eve in the Life of Adam and Eve and related literature”
  • David Zakarian, “Eve in Early Christian Armenian Tradition”

-Session 9.2

  • Session Chair:
  • Ilaria Ramelli, “Constructions of Gender in Origen of Alexandria”
  • Sari Fein, “What Have You Against Me, Oh Man of God?”: Maternal Resistance in the Early Jewish Imagination.”
  • Daniel Vorpahl, “The Body as a Wonderland: Descriptive Creation, Attribution and Transformation of Human Bodies as Acts of Gender Construction in Midrashic and Talmudic Literature”

13:00 – 14:30 Lunch: Participants, spouses, and children welcome

14:30 – 17:00 Session 10

  • Session Chair: Kathy Ehrensperger
  • Carly Daniel-Hughes, “Disciplining Christian Bodies: Animality, Gender and Corporeality in Clement of Alexandria”
  • Respondent:

18:00 Public Event/Reception

20:00 Dinner on your own

–Thursday, 22 July–

09:00 – 10:45 Session 11

  • Session Chair: Shayna Sheinfeld
  • Daniel Boyarin, “Was there “gender” in late-ancient Judaism?”
  • Respondent:

11:15 – 12:00 Session 12 – Closing Thoughts

  • Session Chairs: Gabriele Boccaccini, Kathy Ehrensperger, and Shayna Sheinfeld

12:00 – 13:30 Lunch: Participants, spouses, and children welcome

Optional Field Trip


  • Kecia Ali, Boston University
  • Matthew Anderson, Concordia University
  • Jenny Barry, University of Mary Washington
  • Albert Baumgarten, Bar Ilan University
  • Federico Dal Bo, University of Heidelberg
  • Gabriele Boccaccini, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • Catherine Bonesho, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Daniel Boyarin, University of California at Berkeley
  • Bernadette Brooten, Bradeis University
  • Krista N. Dalton, Kenyon College
  • Vorpahl Daniel, Abraham Geiger Kolleg
  • Carly Daniel-Hughes, Concordia University
  • Kathy Ehrensperger, Abraham Geiger Kolleg/ University of Potsdam (Chair)
  • Sari Fein, Brandeis University
  • Channah Fonseca-Quezada, McMaster University
  • Sarit Kattan Gribetz, Fordham University
  • Andrew Higginbotham, Ivy Tech Community College – Lawrenceburg
  • Juni Hoppe, Abraham Geiger Kolleg/ University of Potsdam
  • Matthew Hotham, Ball State University
  • Maia Kotrosits, Denison University
  • Harry Maier, Max-Weber-Kolleg
  • Peter Mena, University of San Diego
  • Rachel Neis, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
  • Sara Parks, University of Nottingham
  • Gerbern Oegema, Concordia University
  • Ilaria Ramelli, Durham University
  • Jens Schröter, Humboldt University
  • Joshua Scott, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor (Secretary)
  • Shayna Sheinfeld, Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies, Sheffield University (Chair)
  • Angela Standhartinger, Philipps-Universität Marburg
  • Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
  • Alison Vacca, University of Tennessee
  • Lily Vuong, Central Washington University
  • Meredith Warren, University of Sheffield
  • Saadia Yacoob, Williams College
  • David Zakarian, University of Oxford