Christian Bodies, Pagan Images: Women, Beauty, and Morality in Byzantium

Veroli Casket, detail of lid with the Rape of Europa. Victoria and Albert Museum (no. 216-1865)

Date: Apr 3, 2017 Time: 6:15 PM–7:45 PM Location: Harvard Faculty Club Address: 20 Quincy Street Cambridge, MA 02138

Alicia Walker explores how Byzantine women’s bodies were put in dialogue with visual and textual portrayals of pagan goddesses and heroines, and how these practices changed in fundamental ways from the early to middle Byzantine eras.

About the Speaker

Alicia Walker, Bryn Mawr

Alicia Walker is Associate Professor of Medieval Art and Architecture at Bryn Mawr College. Her primary fields of research include gender issues in the art and material culture of Byzantium and cross-cultural artistic interaction in the medieval world from the ninth to thirteenth centuries. Her first monograph, The Emperor and the World: Exotic Elements and the Imaging of Byzantine Imperial Power, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. In addition, she is co-editor of the essay collection Negotiating the Secular in Medieval Art. Christian, Islamic, Buddhist (Ashgate, 2009), and the special issue of the journal Medieval Encounters, entitled Mechanisms of Exchange: Transmission, Scale, and Interaction in the Arts and Architecture of the Medieval Mediterranean (Brill, 2012).

She has published essays on topics relating to medieval inter-cultural artistic transmission, the role of women in Byzantine art and culture, theories of the decorative arts in Byzantium, and the function and meaning of early Byzantine marriage jewelry. Her work has appeared in journals including Muqarnas, Gesta, Ars Orientalis, Art Bulletin, The Medieval History Journal, Studies in Iconography, and Travaux et Mémoires