Mind the Gap. Women Authors in Anglophone Classical Scholarship, 1970–2016

  • Thomas A. Leibundgut Stanford University
Keywords: women in classics, gender, discrimination, publishing, statistics, L’Année philologique, intersectionality, quotas


Although women have a long history of contributing to classical scholarship, they continue to be a minority both among faculty members and scholarly authors. In this paper, I compare the proportion of women employed at Classics departments in the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland with their proportion among the authors of a sample of English journal articles. While the overall institu­tional gender balance is approaching parity, women continue to be under­represented in senior positions, and progress seems to have stalled over the last ten years. In addition, my analysis of the L’Année philologique database demonstrates that while the share of articles written by women has greatly increased from 1970 to 2009, it has remained stagnant since, hovering just around the 28% mark. I hypothesise that the main reason for women’s con­tinued underrepresentation in Classical scholarship, apart from uncon­scious biases, is the disproportionate share of care responsibilities shouldered by women both within and without academia. In order to improve the situation, I propose a series of interventions to be taken by journal editors and university administrators, particularly the introduction of quotas.