Sex in the Renaissance with Allison Levy

Sex in the Renaissance with Allison Levy


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This conversation offers a lively look at the erotic culture of Renaissance Europe. Led by Allison Levy, an expert on the visual and material culture of sexuality in the Renaissance and editor of numerous books on the subject, this interactive seminar exposes a pervasive erotic culture, whereby sexually explicit images, objects, games, and gestures – ubiquitous in the 15th and 16th centuries – provocatively blurred the boundaries between high and low, public and private, licit and illicit.

In addition to the material culture of sex, we will also peer into literary and popular culture. From paintings and engravings to poetry and song, from ceramics and glass objects to letters and theatrical performance, from rituals and social occasions to personal preferences and civic punishment, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of Renaissance sex and sexuality and its place within the culture.

Allison Levy is Digital Scholarship Editor and Visiting Scholar in Italian Studies at Brown University. An art historian, she has published widely on early modern Italian visual and material culture. Allison has held teaching appointments at University College London, Wheaton College, and Tulane University, and she has worked for Context in Florence and New York City since 2005.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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