Women, Sex and Politics in Art, Music and Literature with Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D
7 pm on Monday Evenings in March Lecture Performances at the Petaluma Historical Library and Museum 20 Fourth Street, Petaluma Thanks to a generous donor, this is available as a pay-what-you-will offering, with a portion of all donations going to support girls' education in Kenya
Also available by video download!
March 5 at 7 pm : Divinely Erotic Love Hildegard von Bingen, Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila
The lives of three extraordinary female saints, all who wrote of God as Lover. Hildegard of Bingen, often described as the Renaissance Woman of the Middle Ages, was artist, composer, playwright, theologian and botanist and was silenced by the church powers for her beliefs. Julian of Norwich, first woman to write in the English language, had a profound influence on TS Eliot. Teresa of Avila, a doctor of the church, twice had to face the Spanish Inquisition with charges of heresy and suspicion of demonic possession. Her famous trial became the impetus for Bernini's Baroque masterpiece, The Ecstasy of Teresa.
With live music of Hildegard von Bingen performed by Robin O'Brien
March 12 at 7 pm : Troubadours and Courtly Love Eleanor of Aquitaine and Her Granddaughters The rise of courtly love and the musical tradition of the troubadours including one of the greatest love stories of the Middle Ages and the music and art it inspired at Chartres Cathedral.
Guest performer: Catherine Braslavsky
March 19 at 7 pm: Women of Questionable Virtue: Barbara Strozzi and Veronica Franco Two of the most famous courtesans of Venice were also two of the city’s most exceptional talents: poet Veronica Franco (whose life was immortalized in the film Dangerous Beauty) and Barbara Strozzi, composer of extraordinary works for voice and lute. We'll also explore the life and works of Artemisia Gentileschi, a dramatic painter of the late Baroque whose works rival Caravaggio’s.
March 26 at 7 pm Hidden Heroines: Salome and Josephine Baker Most people think they know who Salome was: a lascivious dancer who called for the head of John the Baptist out of frustrated erotic desire. The only woman named Salome in the Bible, however, was one of the faithful disciple of Jesus who witnessed the crucifixion and resurrection. We'll trace the defamation of this Christian saint over the centuries as her image becomes obscured and replaced by a sexualized image amplified by artists (Gustav Moreau), writers (Oscar Wilde) and composers (Richard Strauss). We'll then turn to another woman known for her exotic dancing, Josephine Baker, who rose from a childhood beset by poverty, abuse and racism to become the highest paid entertainer in Europe, a hero of World War II, revered leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a humanitiarian whose vision of universal harmony is a legacy of hope