Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Sarah Levin-Richardson

Affiliation: University of Washington

Sarah Levin-Richardson is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington. Her work examines the intersection of Roman material culture (art, architecture, archaeological finds, inscribed texts) and social history. Dr. Levin-Richardson has explored sexuality in Roman Italy and the provinces (highlighting the sexual activity of penetrated men and women, for example), the social functions of Pompeian graffiti (including the literacy and subjectivity of those who inscribed texts and images), and the ways modern cultures look to ancient Rome for paradigms of sexual behavior. This body of research aims to recover the contours of agency for marginalized groups like male and female prostitutes, penetrated men, and lusty women, and is thus influenced by and contributes to feminist and queer theory.

Abstracts:


[*This lecture will contain sexual content and is for mature audiences ONLY*] This talk brings to life Pompeii’s purpose-built brothel, the only assured brothel from Greco-Roman antiquity. We take a virtual tour of the structure’s material evidence, from architecture to ancient graffiti, plus the infamous erotic frescoes. In the process, we discover a world in which male and female prostitutes could flout the norms of society and proclaim themselves as sexual agents, where prostitutes and clients exchanged gifts, greetings, taunts, and praise, and where clients from all walks of life, from slaves to elite men, could act like free men. Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader)

 

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

[free] Times Literary Supplement podcast on The Brothel of Pompeii: https://play.acast.com/s/tlsvoices/39f6383e-2b60-44ec-98c8-20c283151c68

[free] Interview with Prof. Levin-Richardson about The Brothel of Pompeii on NOTCHES Blog: http://notchesblog.com/2020/03/26/the-brothel-of-pompeii/

[free] Introduction of The Brothel of Pompeii available on Academia.edu (login/account required): https://www.academia.edu/38779990/The_Brothel_of_Pompeii_Sex_Class_and_Gender_on_the_Margins_of_Roman_Society [$48.49+]The Brothel of Pompeii on amazon.com as e-book (https://www.amazon.com/Brothel-Pompeii-Gender-Margins-Society-ebook-dp-B07R79GWWS/dp/B07R79GWWS/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1583635572) or print book (https://www.amazon.com/Brothel-Pompeii-Gender-Margins-Society/dp/1108496873/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1583635572&sr=)

Did Roman Pompeii have an equivalent of a “red-light” district, with brothels hidden out of sight and prostitutes lurking in the shadows? This talk presents evidence for the visibility both of establishments that sold sex and of those who sold sex, focusing on Pompeii’s (in)famous “purpose-built” brothel. From sight lines that allowed passersby to see directly into the brothel, to the seamless integration of the brothel into the residential and commercial fabric of the city, to the movement of prostitutes throughout the city (to fetch water, pick up clients, or return to their homes after a shift), prostitution was a visible part of the urban fabric of the ancient city. *this lecture is PG-13

 

Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

[free] Times Literary Supplement podcast on The Brothel of Pompeii: https://play.acast.com/s/tlsvoices/39f6383e-2b60-44ec-98c8-20c283151c68

[free] Interview with Prof. Levin-Richardson about The Brothel of Pompeii on NOTCHES Blog: http://notchesblog.com/2020/03/26/the-brothel-of-pompeii/

[free] Introduction of The Brothel of Pompeii available on Academia.edu (login/account required): https://www.academia.edu/38779990/The_Brothel_of_Pompeii_Sex_Class_and_Gender_on_the_Margins_of_Roman_Society [$48.49+]

The Brothel of Pompeii on amazon.com as e-book (https://www.amazon.com/Brothel-Pompeii-Gender-Margins-Society-ebook-dp-B07R79GWWS/dp/B07R79GWWS/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=1583635572) or print book (https://www.amazon.com/Brothel-Pompeii-Gender-Margins-Society/dp/1108496873/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1583635572&sr=)

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