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ARCHLGY 141: "Erotic" Roman Art from Pompeii and Herculaneum (CLASSICS 141C)

This course explores controversial artworks and artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum which have been historically deemed as "erotic" and "pornographic," from wall paintings displaying sexual intercourse to ornaments in the shape of winged phalluses. Students learn about the early excavations of this material, the invention of the word "pornography," and the history of the "Secret Cabinet" in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples, where items deemed too sensitive for the public eye were locked away for decades in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through this, we consider and engage with our own changing societal values surrounding such themes and objects. Students also learn and engage with multiple methodological and theoretical approaches that have been used to analyze "erotic" wall paintings and artifacts, including but not limited to psychoanalysis, "male gaze" theory, queer theory, and master-slave narratives.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5
Instructors: Crosson, S. (PI)
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