Contemporary feminist adaptations of Greek myth

Judge, Shelby Elizabeth Helen (2022) Contemporary feminist adaptations of Greek myth. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This project primarily addresses why there has been such expansion of interest among women writers in adapting and retelling classical mythology, and what this work reveals about current issues and priorities within feminism and feminist theory. It is my contention that the recent literary vogue for women’s revisionist myth writing reveals much about current concerns within feminism as well as trends within contemporary women’s writing. The scope of this thesis is as follows: it begins with the publication of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad (2005) for the Canongate Myth Series, which I propose to be the mainspring of the current trend in women’s writing to adapt myth, and ends with relevant novels published in 2021. Notable authors within this study include Jeanette Winterson, Ali Smith, Pat Barker, Natalie Haynes, Madeline Miller, and Ursula Le Guin. This thesis utilises a methodology of feminist literary criticism, while also incorporating feminist work in classical studies and, where relevant, in the disciplines of Sociology and Women’s Studies. The ‘Literature Review’ takes as its starting point foundational work within feminist classical scholarship, before moving on to argue that non-traditional literature (mainly women’s myth writing for general audiences, podcasts, and online articles) are essential in order to contextualise the current critical climate of women in Classics. The subsequent five chapters are ‘Women in the Texts’, ‘Antigone’s Afterlives’, ‘Mythic Masculinities’, ‘Queering Myth’, and ‘“I want to tell the story again”: Palimpsests: Paratexts, and Intertexts’. Each chapter organises texts around specific concerns in contemporary feminism while also noting the variety of writing styles and techniques which reflect wider contemporary women’s writing practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Stoddart, Dr. Helen
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83239
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2022 09:52
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 10:32
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83239

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