Gloria Ferrari Pinney— 2004 James R. Wiseman Book Award
The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to present the 2004 James R. Wiseman Book Award to Gloria Ferrari Pinney for Figures of Speech: Men and Maidens in Ancient Greece (University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London, 2002).
Figures of Speech is a subtle study of modes of portrayal that interweaves ancient written and material remains, in full consciousness of their possibilities and limits. In lucid prose, Gloria Ferrari Pinney searches out past metaphors, ideals of female and male. Her pursuit is self-aware, and starts with an open presentation and discussion of its theoretical underpinnings. Her ruminations on the world of images, what forms them, and what can be known about and from them, are well informed and persuasive, and her critique of the concepts of "myth" and "geme," representation and reality, is a must-read for beginning as well as advanced scholars.
Concentrating on classical Athens, the book's chapters play variations on the theme of gendered representations, from scenes of women working wool painted on pottery, to stone kouroi, to the scanty accounts and remains of the ritual of Artemis at Brauron. Each serves as a point of departure in a search for more general cultural concepts within the polis: what males and females are capable of, how they develop, and what makes them attract the love of men. This fruitful interaction between the visual and textual evidence makes Gloria Ferrari Pinney's study truly interdisciplinary, and of importance to philologists as well as to archaeologists.
Figures of Speech is provocative and thoughtful-its sophisticated approach to Greek culture and images should guide discussion in the future.