Before and After Sappho: Eudaemonia

Law & Literature, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 354-370, 2009

18 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2009

Date Written: December 7, 2009


This experimental essay was solicited for a special issue responding to an essay entitled "Prosperity, Amelioration, Flourishing: From a Logic of Practical Judgment to Reconstruction," by Paul Rabinow. This essay reorients the inquiry towards the flourishing of women, and specifically lesbians, a subject that Rabinow ignores. Focusing on the Greek concept of eudaemonia, upon which Rabinow relies, the essay considers Sappho and some surviving fragments of her work; the Greek goddess Artemis, whose name is appropriated for some present scientific enterprises; and the work of contemporary lesbian poets Olga Broumas and Adrienne Rich.

This essay is the second in a three part series. The first in the series, "Before and After Sappho: Logos," is forthcoming in Trivia: A Journal of Ideas. The third essay, Demokratia," is forthcoming in Stetson Law Review.

Suggested Citation

Robson, Ruthann, Before and After Sappho: Eudaemonia (December 7, 2009). Law & Literature, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 354-370, 2009, Available at SSRN:

Ruthann Robson (Contact Author)

CUNY School of Law ( email )

2 Court Square
Long Island City, NY 11101
United States

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