The feminine Ovidian tradition

Ranger, Holly Anne ORCID: 0000-0002-8802-4589 (2016). The feminine Ovidian tradition. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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While the growing body of literature on the relationship between feminist theory, classical myth, and classical scholarship has contributed to an understanding of general scholarly trends, there has not been a sustained examination of the relationship between feminist scholarship and classical receptions. Furthermore, the field of classical reception studies focuses almost exclusively on male authors and widely ignores female voices. This thesis addresses these lacunae through detailed discussions of the Ovidian receptions of four women writers active between 1950 and the present: Sylvia Plath, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Josephine Balmer, and Saviana Stănescu. The thesis tracks the ‘difference made’ by feminist scholarship on their varied receptions, and the ways in which recurrent concerns in their engagements prefigure, echo, or explicitly draw upon feminist theory and feminist Ovidian scholarship. This thesis poses the argument that women’s classical receptions offer a critical tool to advance feminist classical scholars’ attempts to ‘reappropriate the text’, by reclaiming female narrative authority from the male poet and interpellating the ‘resisting reader’. This diverse, yet characteristically feminine, Ovidian tradition challenges existing reception traditions based upon male practitioners alone, and reawakens the political and aesthetic critique at the heart of Ovid’s poetry.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology (CAHA)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)


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