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QU POLIS: Women in War (Part 2)

November 19, 2019 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

This course is a follow up to Rob Manning’s class last year on The Politics of Mourning. The centerpiece of Rob’s class was Sophocles’ play, Antigone.   The tyrant Creon generates the action of this play by proclaiming that a fallen enemy, who happens to be his nephew and Antigone’s brother, may not be mourned or buried.  Antigone defies Creon, and pays for her defiance with her life.  She is specifically a female casualty of war as the ancient Greeks waged it. 

The class will look at various representations in literature of the situation of women in war.  The centerpieces of the class will be three Greek plays, The Trojan Women and Helen by Euripides, and  Lysistrata by Aristophanes.  But other  representations will be looked at as well.  Here are some of those to be  reviewed.  Dr. Messina has chosen many of these instances from Greek and Biblical literature, two of his areas of special study:

Iphigeneia in Aeschylus

Hebrew: Deborah; Jephthah’s daughter; Dinah at Schechem

Cressida in Chaucer, Henryson, Shakespeare

At the Wolf’s Table, a recent Italian novel about Hitler’s tasters—the conscripted women who were made to taste all the food he ate to make sure it wasn’t poisoned

The Silence of the Girls, a recent novel about the plight of captive women

You’re not expected to read all of this.  Since we’re concentrating on three Greek plays, it would be good if you could read those, in good translations. (Dr. Messina recommends the Modern Library edition of The Greek Plays, edited by Mary Lefkowitz & James Romm, or the various separate paperbacks published by the University of Chicago Press–https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/series/CGT.html).  But as he usually says in his course descriptions, if you don’t want to or can’t read anything, just come to listen and participate in any way you like.

(Part 2, Part 1 is on November 12th)

$4 admission


November 19, 2019
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


QU North Campus Cafeteria – 1901 N. 18th

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