FAH314H1: Eroticism in Ancient Art


Erotic ‘imagery’ – sculptures, reliefs, paintings – is ubiquitous in ancient art, to a degree that modern viewers have often found disturbing. This course faces the challenge posed by the ancient predilection for such imagery and explores it from a critical and scholarly perspective. At its most basic level, it reassigns a seemingly universal segment of human ‘nature’ and experience to the realm of culture, by examining the imagery against the background of ancient constructions of sexuality, gender and the body. But it also explores the libidinal and hedonic structure of the works of art themselves and asks for the functions of erotic imagery in its respective contexts. The course will avail itself of the excellent research on gender, sexuality and eroticism in antiquity that has been produced over the past few decades, and it will also explore the topic’s lateral connections with the thematic fields of ancient humour, the ‘grotesque’, apotropaism, myth and magic.

1.0 FAH credit
Creative and Cultural Representations (1)