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Alicia Walker Selected as a Member at Institute for Advanced Study

September 13, 2022
Portrait of Alicia Walker

Professor of History of Art Alicia Walker has been selected as a member of Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) for the 2022–23 academic year.

During her fellowship, Walker will be finishing her second book, which explores how Greco-Roman mythological characters provided alternative models for shaping the subjecthood of Byzantine women, prompting them to constitute identities as educated, cultured, and socially powerful people. Focusing on objects encountered in women's everyday lives—including jewelry, clothing, cosmetic containers, mirrors, and household implements—Walker argues that visual representations of Greco-Roman characters were intended to be especially accessible to women, who were not usually highly literate or formally educated in the classical tradition. Images on objects encouraged them to identify with the depicted mythological figures and their narratives, promoting qualities like physical beauty, sexual allure, and social independence, which contrasted strikingly with the dominant Christian values of the time.

"I feel tremendously privileged to join the IAS this coming year and I am excited to discover how this time will transform my thinking and make a mark on my book project,” says Walker. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to make new connections and forge new relationships during this year as well as reconnect with colleagues whose interests and research dovetail with my own."

History of Art