You work as a volunteer intern in a museum that is about to host an exhibition on the body in the ancient Greek and Roman world. The exhibition will include all the relevant visual material from the Iron Age (not material from the Paleolithic to the Bronze Age). The director of the department for community outreach has asked all volunteer interns to submit an essay in which they outline how they would present the highlights of the exhibition to museum visitors, focusing on how depictions of the naked body reflected and promoted socio-cultural identities and roles of gender, sexuality, class, and race.
Write your essay according to the following guidelines:
- You are required to focus your discussion on the statues of the Doryphoros, Aphrodite of Knidos, and at least one Roman example of a Mars and Venus group, which are the exhibition highlights. In addition, you are asked to discuss one more visual example from the exhibition material that you select in order to shed more light on the construction of socio- cultural roles and identities through visual production. You should relate the visual example you choose with the three statues you are required to discuss (how the additional material sheds more light on socio-cultural issues that to some degree are also embodied by the three statues).
- Keep in mind all readings and videos on this material from the ancient Greek and Roman world of the Iron Age. Reference the broader socio-cultural context of your material (for example, what we know from other sources about the roles of men and women at that time; differences in the dress code and representation of men and women, in relation to socio-political developments, cultural trends, etc.).
- You should support your analysis with specific visual and other contextual observations about the specific statues you are asked to consider and the one visual example you introduce (e.g. body language/pose/movement/gestures, body definition and body type, objects held or worn, expression, interaction with the viewer or lack thereof, original location if known, later popularity -e.g. through copies, etc.)
- Comparing and contrasting the male and female figures is necessary for a more comprehensive discussion of this subject.
- It is advisable that you discuss your material in chronological order, e.g. the Greek material first and then the Roman material based on previous Greek examples.
- Please note that even if the assignment guidelines give you a specific thesis statement to work with (ancient naked status advanced specific socio-cultural identities and roles), you are still expected to develop that very generic statement into something more specific and present it as your thesis in the introduction of your essay.
- Keep in mind the audience of your essay: the prompt asks you to write for the director of community outreach, to demonstrate how you would explain the theme of the exhibition to museum visitors, by using clear language
- Provide visual images of the sculpture which are discussed and cite the sources.