Using critical race feminist theory as my framework, I examine the question of whether the ancient Romans had a construct of race and what that construct entailed. We will examine various texts ranging from Vergil’s Aeneid to the graffiti of Pompeii. Can we ever retrieve the ancient Roman construct or is it enough to acknowledge that our perception of Roman social constructs is always filtered through our own flawed constructs of race?”
Shelley Haley is the Edward North Chair of Classics and Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College and President Elect of the Society for Classical Studies. Shelley Haley is an expert on Cleopatra and has discussed the subject on BBC and The Learning Channel programs. Haley was a distinguished visiting scholar at Washington University-St. Louis and participated in the Oxford Round Table. She has lectured widely on increasing the representation of students of color in Latin, ancient Greek and classics classrooms – and on her research about the role of a classical education in the lives and careers of 19th-century college-educated black women.