The Women of Ancient Epic
Epic remains the most ancient and most modern of literary genres. Women in ancient epic begin as prizes of honor for male warriors and become powerful witches and queens, while some contemporary women writers allow their ancient heroines to speak in their own voices. From Homer to the present, epic narratives also traverse continents as they narrate the founding and foundering of empires historical and imaginary. This course introduces students to key classical epics while exploring historical and contemporary adaptations from Dante's Divine Comedy to Madeline Miller's Circe . By examining the afterlives of epic, we will consider how the genre changes when taken up by the gender typically marginalized in the classical tradition. Possible authors include Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Christa Wolf, Ursula K. Le Guin, Madeline Miller, and María Baranda.
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