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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014
 

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Connelly to speak on women in ancient Greece, Feb. 8

Art historian and archaeologist Joan Breton Connelly will discuss women's roles in ancient Greece in a lecture scheduled for 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in McCosh 50.

Connelly, whose talk is titled "Visual Space/Ritual Space and the Agency of the Greek Priestess," is an associate professor of fine arts at New York University. Her upcoming book, "Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece," is a comprehensive cultural history of priestesses in the ancient Greek world. It challenges long-held beliefs to show that women played far more significant public roles than previously acknowledged.

Connelly is known for her groundbreaking analysis of a sculptural frieze adorning an exterior colonnade of the Parthenon. Connelly argued against the traditional conception that the frieze confirms Athens' reputation as a misogynistic society, contending instead that it depicts women being venerated as social leaders and martyrs. Connelly was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her work in Greek art, religion and myth, in particular her reinterpretation of the Parthenon sculptures.

Connelly has led excavations throughout Greece and Cyprus. Since 1990, she has directed NYU's excavation of Yeronisos, a small island off the western coast of Cyprus, a project noted for its integration of ecological and archaeological fieldwork.

Connelly earned an A.B. in classics from Princeton in 1976. Her talk, designated as a Spencer Trask Lecture, is part of the University Public Lecture series

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