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Imagining the Sights and Sounds of Ancient Ritual at the Yale University Art Gallery

Sunday, September 27, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

Dr. Carolyn Laferrière, Yale University Art Gallery

In the ancient world, religious rituals were multisensory experiences, filled with vibrantly colored representations of supernatural beings, resonant musical sounds, billowing clouds of incense, and the taste of food and drink. This lecture considers the ways in which these rituals appealed to the senses through objects that would have drawn worshippers into closer proximity to divine forces.

Dr. Carolyn M. Laferrière is a Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow at the University of Southern California’s new Center for the Premodern World. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Associate with Archaia, Yale University’s program for the interdisciplinary study of the ancient world.

She earned her Ph.D. in 2017 from Yale in the Department of the History of Art. Her current book project, Seeing the Songs of the Gods: Divine Music in Archaic and Classical Greek Art, examines the significance of divine music in ancient Greek art, exploring how musical sounds are communicated in a visual medium and the effect that images of the gods’ performance had upon ancient viewers. In 2018-19 she curated Sights and Sounds of Ancient Ritual, an exhibition at the Yale University Art Gallery, which took a cross-cultural approach to its investigation into the sensory experience of ancient ritual practice by focusing upon objects created and used by premodern worshippers in the Mediterranean, China, the Americas, and the Indo-Pacific region.


Sunday, September 27, 2020
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
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