Congratulations to Briana King on the successful defence of her PhD thesis, titled “Mistress of the East, Goddess of the West: Aphrodite and the Development of Ancient Greek Erotica”
Briana’s thesis examined the roles and representations of Aphrodite in antiquity. Through the innovative application of Mulvey’s feminist model of the gaze to the interpretation of Attic vase-painting and other media, the thesis aimed to illuminate interactions between socially constructed sexualities and the identities of the goddess. In the thesis, Briana drew new conclusions on rich and complex relationships between Aphrodite, sexuality, and violence. She also gave a fresh exploration of the connections between Aphrodite’s image and the art and culture of the Ancient Near East, focussing on case studies such as the Knidian Aphrodite.