WOAH Database

Stable URL: woah.lib.uiowa.edu 

The rise of the “manel” (= all male panel) is prevalent within the field of ancient history. In order to combat this, I set up a crowd-sourced excel sheet so that a list of women in the field could be compiled and subsequently kept updated through the years. This list has no one author, but is rather a product of over 50+ women and men who took the time to contribute. We hope that you use it to reach out to a female ancient historian in order: to write a review, to be on a panel, to write an article, or just to read her work. Additionally, please feel free to add names–but please do not subtract them.

Note: Email addresses must be found separately for each entrant, since consent was not given by all to publish them. The best way to do this is to find institutional webpages or just to email me, so that I can then put you two into communication.

A more comprehensive interactive map and network analysis of the fields covered by the list above is currently in development.

7 thoughts on “WOAH Database

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  1. Just wanted to make a few comments on the list.

    First I think this is an absolutely wonderful initiative to bring together women who study the ancient world from all over the globe, this will undoubtably foster a greater sense of community and support. I have often hoped for a network that transcends institutional and geographical boundaries.

    Second, I was wondering if you could make list of only ancient historians, just to show that their are significantly fewer of them than their are of archaeologists, ancient art historians and classicists. Here of course we have the issue of labels which can easily get complicated but I am thinking specifically of people who either have a Ph.D in Ancient History or self identity as different types of ancient historians. I am only suggesting this distinction to draw attention to the gender gap between male and female ancient historians, the males outnumber the females or at least in my own experience of taking seminars in the field and being the only female with two male professors and 10 male colleagues. I am curious if you any figures for how many men and women there are in ancient history, if you would be willing to share those through twitter could probably be very eye opening. I wonder if this is a personal misconception or something that is actually grounded in reality, I have a feeling its the latter but I don’t have any numbers to back this up just like I said above personal experience.

    The next step would be to have a list of all women who study different elements of the ancient world which would include everyone from philologists, philosophy, architecture, anthropology etc.

    Thank you so much for starting this project, and brining us all a little closer together!

    1. I definitely thought about this, but ultimately do not want to change anyone who wishes to self identify as an ancient historian. Our field is flexible. I have a phd in ancient history but not all ancient historians do or should. Many come from religious studies or classics etc., and are no less of an ancient historian. I think it would be a disservice to try to define it to degree alone.

      1. I ultimately feel the same way, to me an ancient historian is not defined by their degree especially since female ancient historians are heavily responsible for breaking down the traditional model of what it is to be an ancient historian through the use of new methodologies, questions and types of evidence used in reconstructing the past.

        I guess since the topics of ancient history are still heavily male oriented, in other words if you decide to study Republican Politics you are dedicating your life to the study of men (oversimplified of course but hits the main point). While on the other hand social ancient historians is where we see more female historian voices.

        I would still like to see the numbers for male to female “ancient historians,” I think I am going to start gathering this data just to see what the numbers are actually like.

  2. Hi Sarah!

    Me too, me too! I’m an ancient historian and a woman, at the same time, and tried to put myself in the binder, but alas, it is (now?) closed. And I must admit I do not, offhand, know my lat/long.

    The gender ratio for history majors in the US is becoming increasingly skewed male, a source of some concern for my department certainly and something I see intensifying in my classrooms.

    Many thanks for taking this on!

    Delightful blog!


    1. Hi Alison! Thanks for weighing in. I will add your name to the list but we can’t redo the database for another month. Then I promise to add a whole new batch. This was a test run with the names we had from the crowd sourced list. Thanks for your input and we will be sure to get you on there very soon!

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