Thursday, August 6, 2020

Deadline today! ARCE-NC Aug. 8 Virtual lecture - Ancient Egyptian Erotic Art: What was its purpose?

At this point fewer than half the chapter's members have registered for this virtual talk. I heard an earlier version of Dr. Roth's lecture, and can assure that you will be entertained. Don't miss it! The registration deadline is 1:30 today, August 6.


The American Research Center in Egypt, Northern California Chapter, and the Near Eastern Studies Department, University of California, Berkeley, invite you to attend a virtual lecture by Dr. Ann Macy Roth, New York University:

Ancient Egyptian Erotic Art:  What was its purpose?

Virtual Lecture

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Saturday, Aug 8, 2020, 1:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time
, 4:30 PM Eastern Time

Register in advance for this meeting:
Please register no later than 48 hours before the meeting. Registrations after that cannot be guaranteed.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

The meeting was set up by the speaker through New York University, which is why there may be references to NYU.
For the registration, use your real name, so we will know who you are and can call on you by name if you have a question.
The meeting has a waiting room, for security purposes, so you may want to connect a little early.  (We aren't sure how cumbersome this will be.)

Please do not copy or post this announcement elsewhere.

About the Lecture:

From the Turin 55001 Papyrus. (Image courtesy of the speaker.)

The purpose of erotic art would seem to be obvious, and most Egyptologists have assumed that it is intended for private male entertainment and stimulation. For the most part, it has also been assumed to be a feature of the Graeco-Roman period, resulting from the evil influence of those sex-obsessed Greeks and Romans.  There are earlier works of erotica, some of which have been repressed to shield modern sensibilities.  The single piece of erotica that has drawn the most attention, however, dates to the New Kingdom period, and probably comes from Deir el-Medina: the Turin Erotic Papyrus (Turin 55001).  The section of the papyrus that depicts twelve scenes of (mostly) copulating couples has been the source of many and varied interpretations.  This talk will review, contrast, and reconsider several studies of this papyrus, particularly Alexandra von Lieven's very convincing 2003 article, and argue for the possibility that the scenes were intended to entertain and arouse a female rather than a male viewer.  This possibility, which is part of a larger theory of ancient Egyptian gender roles, explains several of its more puzzling characteristics. Consideration of several related works of Egyptian art will illustrate that the Turin papyrus is part of a larger complex of erotic objects and images. 

Note that the images presented with the talk will include several that depict naked humans and sexual intercourse. If you think you might find this material offensive, please do not sign up for the virtual lecture.
About the Speaker:

Dr. Ann Macy Roth (Photo courtesy of the speaker)

Ann Macy Roth received her doctorate from the University of Chicago, and thereafter held positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the University of California, Berkeley, and Howard University.  She currently teaches in the departments of art history and of Hebrew & Judaic studies at New York University.  She is the author of two books, Egyptian Phyles in the Old Kingdom and A Cemetery of Palace Attendants, and articles on a wide variety of subjects, with several more of each currently in preparation.  Her research has centered on the Old Kingdom cemeteries of Giza and Saqqara, where she has directed seven seasons of epigraphic and archaeological research; however, she has a strong secondary interest in the representation of gender roles in art and texts, and is currently writing a book titled (at the moment) "Reversing the Ordinary Practices": Ancient Egyptian Conceptions of Gender and Fertility. This talk is taken from a chapter in that work-in-progress.

--   Sent from my Linux system.

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