Fanny Dolansky

Faculty of Humanities

Fanny Dolansky

Department of Classics

Associate Professor, Roman Social History, Latin Literature, and Roman Religion
BA Honours (Trent), MA (Victoria), PhD (Chicago)

Mailing Address:
Department of Classics
Brock University
St Catharines ON L2S 3A1 CANADA

Phone: 905 688 5550 ext 5372
Fax: 905 984 4859

Teaching 2013-2014 (on leave winter 2014):

  • LATI 4P12:  Cicero, Verrine Orations (fall)
  • CLAS 4V65: Disasters in the Ancient Mediterranean World (fall)

2011 recipient of the Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty 


My research mainly concerns the customs and practices of the Roman family, especially religious rites, in Italy and the provinces primarily during Rome’s central period (c. 200 BCE to 200 CE). I have published on several family festivals including the Parentalia and Saturnalia, as well as the toga virilis ceremony which marked freeborn boys’ coming of age. I am also interested in the history of children and childhood in Greco-Roman antiquity and have recently published studies on the relationship between dolls, gender, and identity formation, and on education in the Roman world. My interests in Roman social and cultural history are broad and touch upon areas such as gender and sexuality, religious minorities, death and commemoration. Among literary authors, I have worked on Ovid’s Fasti and Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities specifically, and have recently completed a study of the rape narratives in Book 2 of the Fasti. I have been and am currently involved in a variety of graduate student theses and major research papers on historical and literary topics related to Roman family life, childhood in antiquity, Latin poetry and prose, and would be happy to discuss future projects with students in any of these areas.

Recent Publications:

  • 2013. "Roman Education," in M. Gibbs, M. Nikolic, and P. Ripat (eds.), Themes in Roman Society and Culture: An Introduction to Ancient Rome. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
  • 2012. "Playing with Gender: Girls, Dolls, and Adult Ideals in the Roman World," Classical Antiquity 31.2: 256-292.
  • 2011. "Honouring the family dead on the Parentalia: ceremony, spectacle, and memory," Phoenix 65.1-2: 125-157.
  • 2011. "Reconsidering the Matronalia and women’s rites,” Classical World 104.2: 191-209.
  • 2011. "Celebrating the Saturnalia: Religious Ritual and Roman Domestic Life," in B. Rawson (ed.), A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds (Malden, MA: Blackwell). 488-503.
  • 2008. "Togam virilem sumere: Coming of Age in the Roman World," in J. Edmondson and A. Keith (eds.), Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, Phoenix Studies in Greek and Roman Social History), 47-70. 

Select Recent Papers:

  • "Learning letters and forming characters: educating upper-class children in Roman society," 24th Annual BUAS Symposium on Paidagogos: Education in Classics, Ancient and Modern, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON (March 2013).
  • "Verres, Freud, and the Collector's Libido," Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting, London (May 2012).
  • "Healing Bodies: Slave Women and the Health of the Household," American Philological Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia (January 2012).
  • "Before Barbie: Girls and Dolls in the Roman World," Niagara Peninsula Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (January 2011).
  • “Rape and Augustan Family Legislation in Ovid, Fasti 2,” Classical Association of Canada Annual Meeting (President’s Panel on Roman Literature and Life in Honour of Elaine Fantham), Québec, (May 2010).
  • "Scriptural Infidelity:  A Jewish Apologist Rewrites the Bible," Fifth Biennial Image and Imagery International Conference:  Re-making, Re-writing, Re-discovery, Brock University (October 2008).

2011 recipient of a SSHRC Aid to Research Workshops and Conferences Grant for
Feminism and Classics VI: Crossing Borders, Crossing Lines (May 24-27, 2012)

Professional Service:
Program Co-ordinator, Niagara Peninsula Society of the Archaeological Institute of America
Member, Classical Association of Canada Council
Member of the Editorial Board, Phoenix
Member of the Board of Correspondents, Mouseion
Advisor, Ontario Classical Association

Women's Classical Caucus
Association of Ancient Historians
Classical Association of Canada
Ontario Classical Association

Fanny Dolansky

Classics Events

Academic Advising Update for Students (end of July into August)
July 26, 2014 - 2:45pm - August 15, 2014 - 4:00pm