Literature: Homer’s Women in Modern Fiction with Kim Shahabudin

Ref: C3533162

The two great epic poems attributed to Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, focus on male heroes like Achilles, Hector and Odysseus. Women have been relegated to a supporting role, despite being often the motivation for heroic action. However, in recent years the women in Homer’s poems have come to the foreground in novels which speculate on and explore their stories. In this course we will look at recent works by three authors who have reclaimed the women of Homer’s poems: Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Women, Natalie Haynes’ A Thousand Ships and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad.

Course aim

To read and discuss recent novels that reclaim the women of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and to consider why these women have become popular topics for modern authors.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Discover more about the representation of women from Homer in modern fiction
  • Read and discuss some specific texts in more detail
  • Consider the reasons for the popularity of this topic at the present time

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

No previous knowledge is assumed. You will get more from the course if you read the whole book, but short extracts for discussion will be downloadable from Canvas. Links to further reading will be provided for those who wish to extend their learning. A pen & paper may be handy for notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

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Literature: Homer’s Women in Modern Fiction with Kim Shahabudin

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This course is only available as part of this programme.


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