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Symposia at the Parthenon on January 25

symposia at the Parthenon

In conjunction with the exhibit An Archaeologist's Eye which examines the sculptural ornamentation of the Parthenon, Dr. Vivien Fryd of Vanderbilt University, will speak on the tradition in western art that contemporary feminist artists have dubbed the "heroic rape."

Since antiquity artists have created paintings and sculpture that aestheticized and glorified, as many of the Parthenon sculptures did, a violent sexual act with a patina of heroic mythology and history. Scholars have praised such works for their grandeur of design and overpowering sensation of drama without considering their violent sexual subject matter.

Beginning in the 1980s, some art historians problematized the sexually violent content of such revered works, arguing that representations of rape, even within the context of mythological and Biblical subject matter, seemed to glorify the event without asking what it means that this subject is so prevalent, accepted, and praised.

Dr. Fryd's talk will explain this "heroic rape" tradition and how and why feminist artists in the United States, working from the 1970s to the second decade of the twenty-first century, represented and challenged the dominant narrative about sexual violence against women.

The lecture will take place at the Parthenon at 6:00 p.m., with a reception following. Admission is free. However, reservations are requested. Please call 615-862- 8431 to make a reservation.