Grad Art


Manton Fellow Saundra Weddle presents, “The Place-Based Networks of Sex Workers in Early Modern Venice.”

This urban history lecture examines sex workers’ residences and places of solicitation, situating them in relation to members of their professional network, including their procurers, some of whom were gondoliers. Mapping these locations in relation to pedestrian and boat routes reveals a spatial syntax that connected sex work with the rhythms of everyday life, demonstrating that location itself serves as an actor within this complex network.

Saundra Weddle is professor of Architectural and Urban History and Theory at the Hammons School of Architecture at Drury University (Springfield, MO). Her scholarship focuses on gender and architecture in early modern Italian cities. She has published widely on convents in Florence and Venice, including edited and annotated translation of the Chronicle of Le Murate (CRRS, 2011) and the forthcoming co-edited volume, Convent Networks in Early Modern Italy (Brepols, 2020). Her current project, Architecture, Mobility, Segregation: The Everyday Spatial Practices of Women in Early Modern Venice, has been supported by grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and an Andrew Mellon Foundation – Divided Cities grant from Washington University in Saint Louis.

This is a prerecorded lecture that will be publicly available here November 13 through December 15, 2020.

Photo credit: New York Public Library. Donato Bertelli, Lovers in a Gondola, 1578.

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