On October 25th, 2022, I gave a lecture at Metropolitan State University on the Origins of Sirens. In the presentation, I trace how hybrid creatures in art arise in Mesopotamia, and how the creatures evolve in forms and meanings across the Mediterranean within a period of nearly 4000 years. At the end, I discuss the 19th-21st century depictions of mermaids, with an analysis of the current controversy caused by racist assertions that mermaid depictions in movies cannot be of any race except Caucasian.
I am placing the link to the lecture here, for your enjoyment. There is a transcript of the talk, in case you don't want to hear my voice for an hour (It was ragged due to a respiratory infection which has had me coughing for 9 weeks.). I'm including below many of the images I discussed. You can find ones of particular interest to you by scanning the course of the lecture for the image to pop up--they're in the same order as the lecture. I hope you enjoy it!
Here is the link to the lecture video: Origins of Sirens.