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Laurie Venters, M.A.

Doctoral Researcher

Laurie Venters

University of Bonn
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
"Gender and Intersectionality"
Adenauerallee 18–22
D-53113 Bonn




Love Competition: 
The Sexual Agency of Female Slaves in Ancient Rome and China

I am a comparative historian focusing on female slaves and concubines in the Roman Empire and Han China. More precisely, my research explores the gender-specific ways bondswomen were able to resist their subjugation or advance their social status and material condition. The 'sexual agency' of female slaves and other asymmetric dependents can be witnessed in a variety of ancient Roman and Chinese sources. Slaves living under both empires were, at times, able to exercise considerable autonomy, allowing them to deploy strategies of resistance or execute plans for societal elevation. Through my research, I hope to show that enslaved women and girls were not always passive victims but conscious actors who frequently, no matter the odds, carved out social existences distinct from their master. 


  • 2019–2022        Ph.D. in Ancient History, University of Bonn, Germany
  • 2018–2019        M.A. Ancient History, University of Leiden, Netherlands
  • 2012–2016        B.A. History, Royal Holloway University of London, UK

Academic Positions

  • 2019–present   Research Associate in Research Group "Gender and Intersectionality", University of Bonn, Germany
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