Monday, September 5, 2016

Mary Beard on Homeric (And Other) Silencing of Women's Words and Deeds



I spoke Thursday of the Iliad's celebration of "words and deeds" (and its concomitant insistence that words ARE deeds) as the delineation of a masculine conception of agency -- I described it rather bluntly as an agency "at once assertive and insertive" you may remember -- a patriarchal conception of agency that would continue to resonate in text after text we read together this term. It is in this spirit that I thought I would direct you to asupplemental text, entirely optional, by Mary Beard (one of the more popular and vital classicists we have going) in which she provides a complementary discussion of a woman's ejection from the space of words and deeds early in Homer's companion epic The Odyssey. Beard's piece connects these questions to contemporary concerns in ways that I hope you are already beginning to think about on your own -- but she also goes on to survey some of the authors (Aristophanes, Ovid) we will be reading in weeks to come (if not always the exact texts of theirs I have chosen to highlight) and even provides a key preview of a late upcoming attraction, our discussion of Hortensia near the end of term. I realize that this course is already reading intensive, but I do like to provide optional supplemental texts for particular purposes for those of you who might find you are getting bitten by the bug of classics/philology/feminism via our readings together.

1 comment:

George Theodoridis said...

Just a minor typo on your page:
It's "Protagoras" not "Protagorus" because the Greek ends in -as (Πρωταγόρας) not in -os which, in Latin, becomes -us.

Many thanks.
George Theodoridis