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At the Radcliffe Institute, Winter will look at images and textual descriptions of the ideal female to see whether ascribed properties differ along gender lines. She will explore the resulting vocabulary in relation to works we call “art.” Her goals are to attempt to move beyond description and capture the nature of ancient “experience,” using the Mesopotamian case as a challenge to Western-oriented assumptions about the nature of such experience.
Winter received her BA in anthropology from Barnard College; her MA in Near Eastern languages and literature from the University of Chicago; and her PhD in art history from Columbia University. She excavated in Iran from 1967 to 1974 and has traveled extensively in the Middle East and in South Asia. She has taught at Queens College of the City University of New York and at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1983, she received a MacArthur Prize, and she delivered the Slade Lectures at Cambridge in 1997. From 1993 to 1996, she served as chair of the history of art and architecture department at Harvard University.