Browsing All Posts filed under »art history«

“Red goddesses” in greater Cahokia

July 26, 2010

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The most unusual archaeological job I ever had was back in graduate school, and it remains the only archaeology job I did wearing three-inch heels. As a student at the University of Illinois, I was drafted along with a friend to stand near the pedestal on which the newly discovered Birger figurine was displayed at […]

Orkney Venus or Westray Wifie: The power of sexual archetypes

June 16, 2010

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The daily Scotsman reported on June 15 that “The Orkney Venus has been named in a shortlist of three for the Best Archaeological Discovery category in the 2010 biannual British Archaeological Awards”. The find is truly important: the object under consideration is almost unprecedented in Neolithic archaeology of Great Britain, and is visually striking, as […]

Cleopatra and other queens: Is this part of an archaeology of sex and gender?

June 5, 2010

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“Her name is synonymous with power and glamour”: so starts an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer prompted by the opening of a new exhibit that opened this week at The Franklin Institute. Which raises the question: what is the relation between an archaeology of sex and gender and the long-standing fascination of the public, shared […]

Participation: Putting theory into practice

May 10, 2010

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The fourth and final section of my course, “Archaeology of Sex and Gender”, which provided the opportunity to develop the book Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives, asks students to put the theoretical approaches to understanding sex/gender in the past into practice. Student groups will have already been formed following week 10, when each student is asked […]

Approaching sex through archaeology: celibacy and sex

May 8, 2010

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By the last week of the third part of the course, students are finally ready to begin to address one of the major drawbacks of much of the archaeology of gender: the way it elides sexual practices and experiences. By juxtaposing archaeological, art historical, and documentary history approaches to sex work and celibacy, we leave […]

Approaching sex through archaeology: third genders and beyond

May 5, 2010

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Returning to a theme from the previous week, third genders, I begin my discussion of method and theory and how they change what archaeologists think we can do with a reconsideration rooted in Sandra Hollimon’s work on Chumash society of California. In Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives, I describe what Hollimon sketches out in a series […]

Classic Maya: sexual bodies

May 1, 2010

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In Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives, I draw on my own work on Classic Maya sex/gender in Chapter 3, which deals centrally with sexuality in hierarchical societies. In addition to asking students to read Chapter 3 in the book, I selected a group of articles that all explore the way idealized, sexualized bodies were represented in […]

Classical bodies

April 30, 2010

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Classical studies are a rich source of potential material, and many students have some level of comfort with these societies. So I use this material to add to the previous contrast of archaeology/art history an additional dimension, documentary history. David Halperin’s article “Why is Diotima a Woman?” appears on many reading lists in history of […]

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