Master of Arts
Greene, Elizabeth M.
In this thesis I explore the question: who gets to be a knower in Classical Studies? First, I investigate how identity has been researched in Classical Studies. I focus on recent demographic studies, and I problematize the language and methodologies they employ. Then, using the methodology of reflexive positionality, I analyze how scholars have considered the impact that their own identity, and the identity of other scholars, has on the knowledge they produce. Though reflexive positionality is minimally applied, I demonstrate that there are conventions in Classical Studies which parallel the motivations of reflexive positionality and I explore the implications of these practices. Lastly, I discuss epistemic authority. I analyze the citational practices of Classical Studies publications which utilize the theory of intersectionality. Through these three investigations I explore different aspects of what it means to be a knower and how one’s identity impacts their epistemic authority.
Summary for Lay Audience
In this thesis I explore the question: who gets to be a knower in Classical Studies? As this is a complex and multifaceted question, I use three investigations to explore different aspects of what it means to be a knower. First, I investigate how identity has been researched in Classical Studies. Demography has been a common method used to consider who is in the field. In my discussion of four recent demographic studies, I problematize the language and methodologies commonly employed and argue that there is need to shift the focus of such studies from studies of simple proportions to overrepresentation and exclusion. Then, I analyze how scholars consider their own identity and the identity of their intellectual predecessors as an important factor in the knowledge production process. Through this investigation I explore reflexive positionality—a methodology which asks the author to consider how their identity influences their research. Though the extent to which this methodology is applied in Classical Studies is minimal, I demonstrate that there are a number of conventions commonly used in Classical Studies which parallel the motivations of reflexive positionality. Finally, I discuss epistemic injustice—a prejudicially motivated devaluation of one’s authority as a knower. I utilize a case study in which I investigate citational practices in Classical Studies scholarship which employs the theory of intersectionality. In this study I consider who is cited as an important contributor to the theorizing of intersectionality, and who should be, but is not. Through these three investigations I consider distinct facets of identity and knowing in order to explore the question: who gets to be a knower in Classical Studies?
Orchard, Jaymie, "Who Gets to be a Knower? Epistemic Authority in Classical Studies" (2022). Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 8524.