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Unreadable Exemplars: Veiled Women and Exotic Others in 16th-Century Books
Los Angeles, 90095 + Google Map
The UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies presents the 2021-2022 Charles Speroni Endowed Chair Lecture by Professor Susan Gaylard.
Early sixteenth-century developments in printing brought forth a profusion of illustrated history books. Many of these histories included a high proportion of women’s images and biographies. Yet by the 1560s, images of women had largely disappeared from the emerging genre of the portrait book. Why did images of women disappear, and where did they go? This talk argues that new genres like the costume book re-used traditional humanist tropes of exemplarity in a bid to render images of women easily legible. The failure of legibility helps to explain why women in print images developed from active protagonists of a story into a decorative surface subordinate to the aims of author and reader.
Susan Gaylard is an Associate Professor of Italian Studies and affiliate faculty in Art History at the University of Washington, Seattle. She was a graduate fellow at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa before completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Gaylard’s research and teaching focus on the intersection of literary, material, and political culture, from Petrarch’s coin-collecting to the collections of Dolce e Gabbana. Her work has been supported by fellowships in Chicago, Oxford, Austin, London, and Rome.
Co-sponsored by the UCLA CMRS Center for Early Global Studies.