Erin L. Thompson

Erin L. Thompson is a professor at the City College of New York.

Even the Eyelashes: Inca Mummies

Erin L. Thompson, 4 January 2024

The Spanish​ garrotted Atahualpa, the last Inca emperor of what is now Peru, in 1533, but their control over their new territory was far from certain. One way they tried to solidify their claim was to promote alliances between those loyal to the Spanish crown and the remaining Inca aristocracy. When the conquistador Pedro Pizarro went to ask one Inca nobleman for permission to arrange a...

From The Blog
28 September 2023

Ignoring the many ‘no pets’ signs, a man on the trail to the world’s largest Confederate monument was leaping from rock to rock with a ball python wrapped around his neck. I began to think I hadn’t really understood Stone Mountain at all. 

From The Blog
14 July 2023

Last winter, I visited a stolen goddess at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The label said she was carved in the mid-tenth century in the ‘style of Koh Ker’, an isolated site in northern Cambodia that was briefly the capital of the Khmer Empire. Its distinctive sculptures began to appear on the international art market in the late 1970s, during the Cambodian genocide.

Foulest, Vilest, Obscenest: Smashing Images

Erin Thompson, 27 January 2022

Onthe evening of 22 August 1566, a crowd gathered in the town of ’s-Hertogenbosch to listen to an open air sermon by an itinerant Protestant preacher. Afterwards they rushed from church to church, singing psalms and smashing images. Two days later, the reformers held their first sermon in the town cathedral, now purified of the paintings and statues they believed tempted churchgoers...

From The Blog
15 December 2020

As soon as the auction was announced, scholars protested at the sale of potentially looted antiquities to support an organisation that wants to bring classics to the masses (which is a bit like trying to support a charity that helps protect people from human trafficking by auctioning off the services of an undocumented worker to clean your house without pay). Admirably, Classics for All soon responded by withdrawing from the auction.

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