Anne Feltovich

Assistant Professor of Classics Anne Feltovich presented her work, “Controlling Images: Slave Women in Roman Comedy,” at the recent meeting for the Society for Classical Studies in Toronto, Canada.

In her paper, Feltovich examines the surprisingly common literary trope in which slave women are responsible for rescuing kidnapped citizen daughters and reuniting them with their fathers.

Drawing on work done by black feminist theorists, Feltovich argues that the trope is a fantasy by the slave-holding patriarchy that the exploitation of slave women’s labor will not backfire, but that slave-women will willingly participate in protecting the citizen class.

By presenting “good” slave women as those who assist citizens, Roman comedy provides models of behavior for real-life Roman slave women, which is why such stereotypes are described as “controlling images” by theorist Patricia Hill Collins.

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