Paleo Pornography: The Roles of Sex, Science, and the Media in the Study of Upper Paleolithic Figurines

Professor April Nowell will present the Department of Archaeology seminar with a talk entitled, "Paleo Pornography: The Roles of Sex, Science, and the Media in the Study of Upper Paleolithic Figurines"

Abstract: When the discovery of the Aurignacian Hohle Fels figurine from Germany was announced publicly in June 2009 it was described in both popular media and in academic journals as “pornographic,” “a 35,000 yr old sex object” and as a “prehistoric pin-up.” But what does ‘pornographic’ mean in an Ice Age context? This talk examines the role of presentism in the analysis and interpretation of human figures in the visual cultures of the European Upper Paleolithic and takes a communities of practice approach to explore the intersection between gender constructs and materiality.

Bio:  April Nowell received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.  She is a Paleolithic archaeologist and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Victoria. Currently, she directs an international team of researchers in the study of Lower and Middle Paleolithic sites in Jordan and is known for her publications on cognitive archaeology, the archaeology of children, Paleolithic art, and the relationship between science, pop culture, and the media. She is the co-editor of Stone Tools and the Evolution of Human Cognition (with Prof. Iain Davidson) and the Archaeology of Night: Life After Dark in the Ancient World ( with Dr. Nancy Gonlin).

Thu, 24 May 2018 - 13:00
Venue: 

Teaching Studio, Room 3.10, Department of Archaeology, Beattie Building, Upper Campus, UCT.

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