UTM Annual Classics Seminar: Caroline Vout

When and Where

Friday, November 20, 2020 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Online via Zoom


Caroline Vout, University of Cambridge


The 2020-21 UTM Annual Classics Seminar Series presents...

"The New Normal? Bodies Beyond the Classical Body"
Professor Caroline Vout, University of Cambridge

Friday, November 20, 2020
1 to 4 pm ET
Online via Zoom

For meeting ID and passcode, contact Martin Revermann via email.

Note: Papers start at 1:10 pm, Zoom session starts at 1 pm

When we think of the ‘classical body', we think of nudity, naturalism, shiny white marble. But neither the term ‘classical', nor the beauty, purity and virtue that we associate with it, are obvious. Rather, they have accrued over time. This lecture focuses on what ‘classical body’ omits, on an unexceptional but important range of Greek and Roman visual culture that challenges our vocabularies and asks for new frameworks. Much of our focus will be on sculpture. In privileging sculpture, we are again being selective. But it is sculpture that has dictated our artistic engagement with the Greeks and Romans, and sculpture that is, therefore, best placed to usher in a new chapter. This is not only about extending Greek and Roman sculpture’s remit to include the ‘ugly’, ‘aniconic’, ‘demotic’, colour; it is about reassessing its interactions with ‘foreign’ traditions (the Egyptian, Eastern, Indian etc). Where does the classical body sit between the local and global, and in the midst of the archaeological? Does the classical body have a future?

Focus items:
-Seminar participants are asked to (re-)familiarize themselves with the following: Prima Porta Augustus, Commodus as Hercules, the San Marco Tetrarchs, head of Alexander the Great, section of cavalrymen from the Parthenon frieze, Tomb of Darius I, Naqsh-i Rustam.
-Seminar participants are also encouraged to read Michael Squire (2015) ‘Corpus Imperii: Verbal and Visual Configurations of the Roman “Body Politic”’. Word and Image 31: 305-30 (available at Academia.edu)


UTM Department of Historical Studies