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UE's Andiron Lecture Series to Feature Guest Speaker

Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

The next installment of the Andiron Lecture Series at the University of Evansville (UE) is set for Wednesday. Assistant Professor of English, Sara Petrosillo, will be giving a lecture to launch her new book entitled Hawking Women: Falconry, Gender, and Control in Medieval Literary Culture. The book was recently published by the Ohio State University Press.

The Andiron Lecture Series, established by UE in 1982, presents research, commentary, and reflection from diverse fields of study and will display Petrosillo's knowledge ranging from feminist theories to medieval manuscript studies.

Petrosillo's lecture will show how cultural literacy in the art of falconry mapped, for medieval readers, onto poetry and challenged patriarchal control. According to Petrosillo, medieval women could teach a lesson on resistance in a culture of training and control, especially when it comes to resisting and reshaping depictions of female bodies. Across medieval art and language, references to ladies with falcons seemed to convey a clear and misogynous message: women are like wild hawks in need of taming. What happens when women, who occupy a subordinate position in the human hierarchy, spend time with hawks and even reclaim hawks as their personal symbols?

In answering this question, Petrosillo's presentation will span centuries and cultures, beginning with an illustrated overview of medieval falconry and concluding with a connection to the modern treatment of women.

The lecture, sponsored by the University of Evansville William L. Ridgway College of Arts and Sciences and Evansville Partners in Women's Reproductive Health, will take place at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 22, in the Schroeder School of Business Building, Harkness Hall, (room number 162). The lectures are free and open to the greater Evansville community.

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