The title, Playing with Things: Engaging the Moche Sex Pots, conveys how Mary Weismantel approaches her topic and writes about it. “Play” signals Weismantel’s emphasis on direct experience and letting a vessel’s materiality lead her, while the title’s wording foretells a delicious informality in the book’s prose. The experience of reading this text is reminiscent of a current television advertisement where shackles falling from actors’ bodies indicate their release from pain, but in Playing with Things, the release comes from the fact that Weismantel’s inquiry, unlike many scholarly texts, is not driven by a singular theoretical approach. Sure, she deeply engages with theory, but it is the eclectic nature of the theory she turns to, including Freud, queer and gender theory, phenomenology, ethnography, feminist theory, and even the ideas of sexologist Alfred Kinsey, that is so productive. Never restrained by one approach, and vigilant about the drawbacks of...
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Book Review| April 01 2023
Review: Playing with Things: Engaging the Moche Sex Pots, by Mary Weismantel
Playing with Things: Engaging the Moche Sex Pots, by Mary Weismantel.
University of Texas Press,
2021. 288 pages. Hardcover $90.00, paperback $29.95.
Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture (2023) 5 (2): 145–146.
Annabeth Headrick; Review: Playing with Things: Engaging the Moche Sex Pots, by Mary Weismantel. Latin American and Latinx Visual Culture 1 April 2023; 5 (2): 145–146. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/lavc.2023.5.2.145
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