Mary Beard is professor of classics at Newnham College, University of Cambridge. She is the author of eighteen books on society and culture in the ancient world, including Women and Power: A Manifesto (2017), The Roman Triumph (2007), and The Parthenon (2002). Since 1992 she has been the classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, which also hosts her popular blog, A Don’s Life. Beard’s newest book, How Do We Look: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization (2018), looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity, from prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul. The book contains text and images that complement her episodes in Civilisations, the epic BBC and PBS documentary television series that premiered earlier this year.
Beard gave the Christina Huemer Lectureship at the Academy on September 25 that inaugurated the 2018–19 series of events, New Work in the Arts & Humanities: The Body. Titled “The Classical Body: The Naked and the Nude,” Beard’s talk was delivered to a packed house at the Villa Aurelia. (View the archived video at livestream.com.) As the Lucy Shoe Meritt Scholar in Residence, she returns to the Academy in the winter for eight weeks.