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IDSEMUG 2036 - The Arts and Archaeology of Royal Women in the Ancient Mediterranean

What is the visual, material, and textual evidence for queens and royal women in the ancient world? What were the contours and limitations of their political power, and how did they exercise it? How did their representations model expectations for beauty, femininity, and dynastic continuity? How have ancient queens shaped modern imaginations of women and political power? This seminar addresses these questions by focusing on royal women in ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome, including Hatshepsut, Puabi of Ur, Artemisia II, Cleopatra VII, and Livia. Throughout the semester, we will practice close-looking at images and will use modern theories of gender and sexuality to try to understand ancient constructs of gender and power. Moreover, we will grapple with how to engage with patchy archaeological records, fragments, and decontextualized monuments in reconstructive histories and art histories. We will make use of the objects, museums, and monuments throughout New York City. Class Notes: FULFILLS GALLATIN DEGREE REQUIREMENT: HUMANITIES, PREMODERN.
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Fall 2020, Fall 2019
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