The Fourth Annual John Addington Symonds Celebration

7 October 2017, 2.30 PM - 7 October 2017, 5.00 PM

Dr Jen Grove

Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building, Bristol

This event is our annual celebration of John Addington Symonds, Bristol-based writer, art historian, and pioneer of homosexual rights. Please register on the Eventbrite page for tickets. Free to attend, refreshments provided.

Dr Jen Grove will be speaking on 'EP Warren's Classical erotica: LGBT+ activism and objects from the past'.

Edward Perry Warren (1860-1928) is best known for giving his name to the “Warren Cup”, an ancient Roman goblet with explicit scenes of men having sex together (now in the British Museum). The classical antiquities Warren collected at the beginning of the twentieth century include many of those we now turn to for visual evidence of homosexual acts in the ancient world.

Drawing on original archive work, this talk will explore how Warren used such artefacts from ancient Greece and Rome to campaign for the acceptance of same-sex relationships in the modern world. Warren was particularly influenced by John Addington Symonds and his Greek-inspired idea of a comradely type of love between highly virile men.

This talk will also explore some of the problems of looking to Warren, the objects he collected, and the type of ancient relationship he was inspired by - between older and younger partners - for LGBT+ activism and education today. 

Dr Jen Grove is an Engaged Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter. She is currently employed on a Wellcome Trust-funded project 'Rethinking Sexology: The Cross-Disciplinary Invention of Sexuality: Sexual Science Beyond the Medical, 1890-1940'. She is the editor of a forthcoming book Sculpture, Sexuality and History: Encounters in Literature, Culture and the Arts from the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Palgrave, 2017, with Jana Funke). Jen works closely with LGBT+ activists and support groups, as well as museums, schools, youth workers and health practitioners to explore how artefacts from the past can get people talking about sex, relationships, gender and sexuality today. She tweets from @jenniferegrove

Organised in collaboration with OutStoriesBristol.

Edward Perry Warren, 1860-1928. Osbert Burdett and E.H. Goddard, Edward Perry Warren: The Biography of a Conno

Side A. Silver skyphos. Roman, AD 5 – 15. Found Jerusalem. British Museum GR 1999.4-26.1. MFA Images

Black figure alabastron. Greek, 550–535 BCE. MFA Images

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