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Gender and Classical Reception

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The last decade has witnessed an explosion of interest in classical reception and a large number of publications specifically on women and classical reception. Women’s roles as readers, translators and creative revisionists of classical literature are no longer kept invisible. The notion of classical reception, its definitions and boundaries, its locations and sources, are being revised and extended. What are the tropes and metaphors by which women articulate their relationship with classical culture? And to what extent has gender been a metaphor for writers’ access to, or marginalisation from, the cultural capital that is classics?

Jennifer Wallace, author of Shelley and Greece: Rethinking Romantic Hellenism (1997) as well as articles on classical reception in the work of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Elizabeth Carter, Mary Shelley and L.E.L., and editor of the forthcoming Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature 1780-1880, considers these questions and asks what has been lost and what has been gained from the re-focusing of attention from women and classical reception to gender.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Classical Reception Seminar Series series.

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