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Animate Ivory: Animality, Materiality, and Pygmalion’s Statue
Lecture by Peggy McCracken
The 2020 Oxford Medieval Studies Lecture given at the University of Oxford on January 23, 2020
Overview: Ovid’s Pygmalion story brings together craft, creation, and animation in the metamorphosis of an ivory statue into an ivory-white woman. Moving among several medieval translations of Ovid’s story, and focusing primarily on the adaptations in the thirteenth-century Romance of the Rose and the fourteenth-century Ovide moralisé, I investigate the animation of the ivory statue in order to question the values of animacy in relation to human being and animal death, and in relation to Christian salvation.
Read also this Report on Peggy McCracken Lecture for OMS
Peggy McCracken is the Domna C. Stanton Collegiate Professor of French, Women’s Studies, and Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan. .
Top Image: Bodleian Library MS. Douce 332 fol. 192r