CIDRAL Open Event: Professor Kate Fisher (Director of Centre for Medical History) with Dr Rebecca Langlands (University of Exeter): 'Pansexual Provocations among the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum'
|Starts:||17:00 6 May 2014|
|Ends:||19:00 6 May 2014|
|What is it:||Lecture|
|Organiser:||School of Arts, Languages and Cultures|
Pansexual provocations in the ruin of Pompeii and Herculaneum:
Ruins – the partial remnants of the past – are in themselves a provocation; the ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, dug out of the ground after centuries, offer tantalising glimpses of intimacy and promises of connections with civilizations long gone. Yet the fragments of the past with which these cities present us are now without interpretative context to help us understand their significance. Whether scholar or tourist, we must bring our own modern interpretative context to these sites, and these contexts, in turn, determine what we can know and understand about the past.
In 1986, discovery of a new set of wall-paintings in the so-called “Suburban Baths” in Pompeii set the cat among the pigeons; these pictures were radically different from those for which Pompeii had long been famous, and their novelty posed challenges to the interpretation of ancient erotic art, and disrupted established lines of interpretation. This paper explores the various ways that scholars and non-academic viewers have struggled to make sense of these pictures in the intervening decades, and the different frameworks within which they have made sense of them. We use this engaging case-study to explore methodological issues in history, Classics, and the history of sexuality.
Travel and Contact Information
John Casken Lecture Theatre
Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama