The UCI Center for Ethnography, Department of Anthropology, Department of Women’s Studies, and Center for Law, Society and Culture present

“Seeing the Sex in the Moche Sex Pots”
with Mary Weismantel, Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
3:30-5:00 p.m.
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 3323

This talk will compare various attempts to look at Moche (400–800 A.D. Peru) sex pots from Kinsey to structuralist, feminist, and queer studies scholars — each of whom sees some things, and does not see others. Infamous for their naturalist and graphic depiction of sex acts, the talk will trace how even these “literal” objects can inspire a wide variety of interpretations. Mary Weismantel is one of the foremost anthropologists working at the intersections of gender, race, exchange, and materiality in the Andes. She has written on food, adoption, ancient ceramics, and contemporary popular culture. Her latest book, Cholas and Pishtacos: Stories of Race and Sex in the Andes, is concerned with the persistence and present-day fluidity of racial hierarchies in the Andes, especially as they are expressed in racist depictions of Andean market women and in fears of whites’ exploitation of indigenous peoples. Her recent work addresses the relationship between humans and animals and the reproduction of history and bodies as evidenced in pre-Columbian material culture.

Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to the Center for Ethnography, For more information about the center and its events, visit

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