Friday, April 13, 2007

Rachel Kousser Explores Roman Art, Iconoclasm, April 18

Chestertown, MD, April 13, 2007 — The Washington College Department of Art will present "Destroying the Power of Images in the Late Roman Empire," a lecture by Dr. Rachel Kousser, in the Casey Academic Center Forum on Wednesday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m.

Dr. Kousser, Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, specializes in Greek art and its reception in imperial Rome.

Her April 18 talk concerns the destruction of images in Roman Germany. In the second to early third centuries A.D., this frontier province was a prosperous and stable region; it was also one of the areas of the Latin West most quickly and thoroughly altered by Roman imperial occupation, as its abundant material culture testifies.

While the monuments of Roman Germany have been documented extensively, few scholars have commented upon their frequent discovery within destruction contexts. "Destroying the Power of Images in the Late Roman Empire" focuses on close visual analysis of these damaged objects and investigation of their archaeological settings; its aim is plausibly to reconstruct when, why and by whom the objects were attacked. The thesis is that the images were attacked, re-erected and destroyed in response to oscillations of power on the Roman Empire's borders.

Dr. Kousser has published articles on the Venus de Milo and the representation of victory on Trajan's Column. Her forthcoming book, Hellenistic and Roman Ideal Sculpture: The Allure of the Classical, will be published next year by Cambridge University Press. The material she is presenting at Wednesday's lecture is part of a new research project on iconoclasm in the ancient world.

Admission to "Destroying the Power of Images in the Late Roman Empire" is free and open to the public.

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