Fall 2007

Revisionings: Greek Tragedy and Mythology


Alicia E. Ellis (Section 01)


This course explores Greek tragedy and mythology together with their modern reformulations. We will consider how these contemporary prose and lyric revisions of the foundational texts of western civilization question the stability of established gendered and racial categories. What is the relationship, if any, between bodily desire, marginal space, and social identity? How do modern authors challenge and assert their own writing against that of the canon? Readings and class discussions will be especially attentive to issues of genre, national imagination, and the creation of history/historiography. Representative writers will include Sophocles, Euripides, Homer, Wole Soyinka, Seamus Heaney, Yusef Komunyakaa, Christoph Ransmayr, Margaret Atwood, and Rita Dove. Limited to 20 students. First semester. Visiting Professor Ellis.