(October 19, 2015)

Rhodes professor to speak at Centenary through "Religion Matters" series

Dr. Graybill

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Rhiannon Graybill of Rhodes College in Memphis will give a lecture entitled "The Horror of Hosea: Female Bodies and Masculine Anxieties in Hosea 1-3" in Centenary's Kilpatrick Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 29. Graybill's visit to Centenary is part of the College's annual "Religion Matters" speaker series and is generously underwritten by the Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture Program. The lecture is free and open to the public.

"Graybill is one of the most exciting scholarly readers of the Bible working today, particularly skilled at using multiple lenses to closely read the Hebrew Bible text," said Spencer Dew, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies. "For her Centenary visit, Dr. Graybill will demonstrate how a broad array of techniques from cultural criticism can help us better understand both the Bible and its ramifications through time."

Graybill is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College, where she teaches in the Gender and Sexuality Studies program. She is a graduate of Swarthmore College and holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies with an emphasis in critical theory from the University of California at Berkeley.

Graybill's research interests include Hebrew prophetic literature, gender and sexuality in the Hebrew Bible, feminist and queer theory, and psychoanalysis and ancient Near Eastern literature. She is the author of the forthcoming book Unstable Masculinity in the Hebrew Prophets (Oxford University Press, 2016) and is also currently writing a commentary on the Book of Jonah for the Anchor Yale Bible Commentary Series along with Steven McKenzie and John Kaltner.

At Centenary, Graybill will present an examination of the opening chapters of the biblical book of Hosea, which are dominated by the spectacle of the suffering female body and are notorious for their representation of gendered violence.

"Confronted with this difficult text, this talk argues for reading Hosea 1-3 through the category of the horror film," said Graybill. "Drawing on Carol Clover's work on gender and the possession film, I argue that the violence against female bodies signals an unspoken anxiety over masculinity."

The "Religion Matters" speaker series at Centenary is an annual set of lectures designed to generate wide-ranging conversations about the intersection of religion and other cultural issues across the larger Shreveport-Bossier community.