In Centaurs and Amazons, Page duBois offers a prehistory of hierarchy. Using structural anthropology, symbolic analysis, and recent literary theory, she demonstrates a shift in Greek thought from the fifth to the fourth century B.C. that had a profound influence upon subsequent Western culture and politics.
Through an analysis of mythology, drama, sculpture, architecture, and Greek vase painting, duBois documents the transition from a system of thought that organized the experience of difference in terms of polarity and analogy to one based upon a relatively rigid hierarchical scheme. This was the beginning of "the great chain of being," the philosophical construct that all life was organized in minute gradations of superiority and inferiority. This scheme, in various guises, has continued to influence philosophical and political thought.
The author's intelligent and discriminating use of scholarship from various fields makes Centaurs and Amazons an impressive interdisciplinary study of interest to classicists, feminist scholars, historians, art historians, anthropologists, and political scientists.
A Million and One Gods
Page duBois Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress BL217.D83 2014 | Dewey Decimal 201.4
As A Million and One Gods shows, polytheism is considered a scandalous presence in societies oriented to Jewish, Christian, and Muslim beliefs. Yet it persists, even in the West, perhaps because polytheism corresponds to unconscious needs and deeply held values of tolerance, diversity, and equality that are central to civilized societies.
Out of Athens
Page duBois Harvard University Press, 2010 Library of Congress PA3052.D83 2010 | Dewey Decimal 880.9001
The iconoclast of Classics, Page duBois refuses to act as border patrol for a sometimes fiercely protected traditional discipline. Instead, she incorporates insights from postcolonial, psychoanalytic, and postmodern theories into her nuanced close readings of ancient Greek texts.Out of Athens sets ancient Greek culture next to the global ancient world of Vedic India, the Han dynasty in China, and the empires that survived Alexander the Great. DuBois establishes a daring agenda for the next generation of Classicists.
Sappho Is Burning
Page duBois University of Chicago Press, 1995 Library of Congress PA4409.D8 1995 | Dewey Decimal 884.01
To know all we know about Sappho is to know little. Her poetry, dating from the seventh century B.C.E., comes to us in fragments, her biography as speculation. How is it then, Page duBois asks, that this poet has come to signify so much? Sappho Is Burning offers a new reading of this archaic lesbian poet that acknowledges the poet's distance and difference from us and stresses Sappho's inassimilability into our narratives about the Greeks, literary history, philosophy, the history of sexuality, the psychoanalytic subject.
In Sappho is Burning, duBois reads Sappho as a disruptive figure at the very origin of our story of Western civilization. Sappho is beyond contemporary categories, inhabiting a space outside of reductively linear accounts of our common history. She is a woman, but also an aristocrat, a Greek, but one turned toward Asia, a poet who writes as a philosopher before philosophy, a writer who speaks of sexuality that can be identified neither with Michel Foucault's account of Greek sexuality, nor with many versions of contemporary lesbian sexuality. She is named as the tenth muse, yet the nine books of her poetry survive only in fragments. She disorients, troubles, undoes many certitudes in the history of poetry, the history of philosophy, the history of sexuality. DuBois argues that we need to read Sappho again.
Slaves and Other Objects
Page duBois University of Chicago Press, 2003 Library of Congress HT1234.D83 2003 | Dewey Decimal 305.567
Page duBois, a classicist known for her daring and originality, turns in this new book to one of the most troubling subjects in the study of antiquity: the indispensability of slaves in ancient Greece. DuBois argues that every object and text in the world of ancient Greece bears the marks of slavery and the need to reiterate the distinction between slave and free. And yet the ubiquity of slaves in ancient societies has been overlooked by scholars who idealize antiquity, misconstrued by those who view slavery through the lens of race, and obscured by the split between historical and philological approaches to the classics.
DuBois begins her study by exploring the material culture of slavery, including how most museum exhibits erase the presence of slaves in the classical world. Shifting her focus to literature, she considers the place of slaves in Plato's Meno, Aristotle's Politics, Aesop's Fables, Aristophanes' Wasps, and Euripides' Orestes. She contends throughout that portraying the difference between slave and free as natural was pivotal to Greek concepts of selfhood and political freedom, and that scholars who idealize such concepts too often fail to recognize the role that slavery played in their articulation.
Opening new lines of inquiry into ancient culture, Slaves and Other Objects will enlighten classicists and historians alike.