AWAWS Reading Group

The Australasian Women in Ancient World Studies (AWAWS) is starting a new online reading group! The reading group is open to all AWAWS members and is free to join. Our first meeting is on Wednesday 25th August at 5:30pm (AEST).

This group aims to connect members across Australia and New Zealand and will meet four times a year to discuss (in a social setting) set readings on a range of themes within the AWAWS purview. Such themes might include the role of women in our disciplines today, challenges affecting women in ancient world studies, the contribution of women to the disciplines, the ways in which women approach the past differently and how that has benefited the discipline, as well as broader themes around women in antiquity, intersectionality and feminist approaches to the past in general.

We will meet every three months, with a rotating leadership to give different members a chance to organise a session by taking turns to set the reading and lead the discussion for that session. It will be held online so that all members can participate, no matter where you are based. We envision eventually having a hybrid model, with local groups meeting in person (because the social side is just as important!) to login to the main, online session together.

Why Should I join?

Reading groups are a great way meet new people, network, and learn more about new and exciting research in areas that may fall outside of your current research scope. Reading groups can inspire new discussions and reveal new and challenging ideas as well as different viewpoints. You may even take the opportunity to lead a session, thereby developing your skills on how to facilitate a reading group in your own research community. Being part of a reading group is an opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds and places to understand new material, network and learn from each other. It’s also a great way to keep you motivated and engaged with new research in a range of fields. Plus! There is the added bonus of regular social catch-ups with like-minded people (but not often enough to stress you out with over-stuffed reading lists!)

How do I sign up?

The first session is on Wednesday 25th August at 5:30pm (AEST) and will be an introductory social meeting led by Hannah Vogel, Kim Harris, and Kristen Mann. The aim is to introduce all members to each other and the way the group will run. We will then select and set the first reading for discussion at the second session (date to be voted on at the first meeting). If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch by registering your interest through the link here.

When you sign up, you can provide topics you are interested in or suggest a reading. The rotating leadership of this group means you will have the opportunity to select your own reading and run a session if you wish. Some of the suggested readings so far include topics such as gender and archaeology, feminism in archaeology, studies about diversity (both in the past and in ancient world studies today), feminist digital humanities and many more!

Facilitator profiles

Hannah Vogel: (@hannah_vogel8) is a co-chair of the AWAWS Sydney Chapter and has recently completed her Master of Research at Macquarie University. She is researching bodily differences, disabilities and impairment in ancient societies. Her thesis focused on scholarly approaches towards disability in ancient world studies, particularly ableist narratives in Egyptology. She is an advocate for accessibility and working collaboratively and seeks to explore the lived experience of disability in the ancient past. Hannah is also co-coordinator of Tele’s Angels, a peer-to-peer mentoring program.

Kimberly Harris: (@Kim_Jade2) is a co-chair of the AWAWS Sydney Chapter and a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. Her current research interests include Latin declamation, Roman law, and representations of gender, violence, and the body in Ancient Rome. Her thesis examines representations of violence in body politic metaphors within the context of the late Republic and early Empire and considers how this violence reflects the broader socio-political climate as well as the potential lived experience of individuals in this period.

Kristen Mann: is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA; funded by the Kominatos bequest), and Director of the AAIA Digital Horizons Project. She specialises in the Early Iron Age Mediterranean, Greek households, settlement archaeology, and archaeological field methods. Her field experience is extensive, with recent projects including the Cambridge Keros-Naxos Seaways Project, the USYD Zagora Archaeological Project, and the Duke-UNC Azoria Project. She is also well-versed in digital field and research tools.



AWAWS has its inception in a 2010 survey of female academics, postgraduates and post-doctoral fellows across Australia and New Zealand about whether they saw a place for a professional organisation for women who study and work on the ancient world. This was followed by an inaugural meeting at the 32nd annual meeting of the Australasian Society for Classical Studies (ASCS) in January 2011. With the generous assistance of the Classical Association of New South Wales, ASCS and a number of private donors, the society was launched at a luncheon with a guest speaker. Professor Vivienne Gray from the University of Auckland illustrated, through the careers of two notable New Zealand scholars Agathe Thornton and Daphne Hereward, the nature of the history of women in the discipline.

Since that meeting, local chapters were established in Melbourne and Sydney mid-2011. AWAWS continues to grow and gain new members by holding an annual general meeting, and events at conferences and at a local chapter level.

Other Upcoming AWAWS Events:

The Sydney Chapter of AWAWS are hosting a lockdown lunch (BYO!) via zoom on Thursday 19th Aug 12.30pm (AEST). Members have been emailed a link. If you would like to join us and learn more about AWAWS please request the link via the email:

The Brisbane Chapter of AWAWS are hosting (via zoom) the Cancelled Conference 2.0, which will be held between Wednesday 29 September – Thursday 30 September 2021. More details are on the AWAWS News Page.

(Image credit: ‘Pile of Books’ by Pixabay, used under CC0)


Dr Stavros Paspalas – Director
Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Room 480, Madsen Building (F09), University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
+61 2 9351 4759 +61 (0)2 9351 7693