Dr. Jennifer Babcock is giving a lecture at The American Research Center in Egypt, New York Chapter (ARCE/NY) on January 28, 2021, titled “Aesop, Egypt, and the Origins and Reception of Fables”.
Time: Thursday, January 28, 2021, 2:00 P.M. Free to the Public
SPEAKER: Dr. Jennifer Miyuki Babcock
REGISTRATION: Registration is through Brainerd Memorial Library
ABSTRACT: Traditionally, fables are defined as story-telling devices that are used as moralizing lessons, and are associated with Classical and Western culture; the fables of Aesop and La Fontaine, which have had an immense influence on modern contemporary culture, are perhaps the best-known examples. In fact, Aesop’s fables are often credited for the origin of modern day fables and have had a major influence in our contemporary definitions of what fables are. This talk will discuss fables that were developed before the hegemony of Western culture, and consider the role that Egyptian and Near Eastern narrative traditions had in influencing Classical sources, such as Aesopian fables. In this investigation, we will reevaluate the structure of the fable as a narrative device and reconsider its origins by looking at Babylonian contest literature and Egyptian myths that have been recorded in demotic and Greek papyri, and which may be illustrated in the ostraca and papyri of anthropomorphized animals from the site of Deir el-Medina.
About Dr. Jennifer Babcock:
Dr. Jennifer Miyuki Babcock is an Adjunct Instructor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt University, and also an adjunct faculty member at The New School. She teaches survey art history courses that range from prehistory to modern times, and also leads classes that focus on the ancient Mediterranean world and its intercultural exchanges. Prior to teaching, she was a Postdoctoral Curatorial Associate at The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World and has held research and fellowship positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Brooklyn Museum. Dr. Babcock earned her PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU in ancient Egyptian art and archaeology in 2014. Her dissertation, The Imagery of Anthropomorphized animals in New Kingdom Ostraca and Papyri: Their Artistic and Cultural Significance demonstrates how the images of anthropomorphized animals are linked with major aspects of Egyptian art, such as narrative, parody, and aesthetics. Currently, Dr. Babcock is revising her dissertation into a book, and her manuscript, Tree Climbing Hippos and Ennobled Mice: Animal Fables in Ancient Egypt, is in press with Brill Publishers. Faculty development grants and awards from The New School and The Fashion Institute of Technology have supported her research interests, including the construction of visual narrative and the development of ancient Egyptian iconography.