American women, in contrast to their European counterparts, have long engaged with and critiqued the myths of antiquity. American Women and Classical Myths is a collection of essays exploring the paradoxical attitudes that women in the U.S. have exhibited over a span of more than two centuries. Contributors address two broad topics. They examine the attempts of several influential American women, including Margaret Fuller, Edith Hamilton and Hilda Doolittle, to interpret myth for an audience that distrusted it. In addition, they show how American women have reinterpreted myths about women such as Antigone, Penelope, or the Amazons to create identities appropriate to women in the New World.
Gregory A. Staley (Ph.D. Princeton University) is Associate Professor of Classics, University of Maryland, College Park and a Rome Prize Fellow of the American Academy in Rome.
Introduction: The Book of Myths Gregory A. Staley Part I: American Women 1. Examples of Classical Myth in the Poems of Phillis Wheatley Julian Mason 2. Margaret Fuller and Her Timeless Friends Marie Cleary 3. H.D., Daughter of Helen: Mythology as Actuality Sheila Murnaghan 4. Those Two or Three Human Stories: Willa Cather, Classical Myth, and the New World Epic Mary R. Ryder 5. Edith Hamilton and Greco-Roman Mythology Judith P. Hallett Part II: Classical Myths 6. Liberating Woman: Athena as Cultural Icon in the United States Elzbieta Foeller-Pituch 7. Victorian Antigone: Classicism and Women's Education in America, 1840-1900 Caroline Winterer 8. The Figure of Penelope in Twentieth-Century Poetry by American Women Lillian E. Doherty 9. The Amazons: Wonder Women in America Gregory A. Staley Notes Bibliography List of Contributors Index
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