T5098 – Amazons and Wonder Women: The Classical World in the Modern Imagination

Paris, Athens, Nafplio, Hydra Island
Faculty: Cecilia Konchar Farr and Melissa Bradshaw   
1/01/2019 – 1/22/2019

This intermediate-level literature course tracks the Greek myths of Amazon warriors into the famously innovative “Lost Generation” of English-speaking writers in mid twentieth century Paris, through to our current Wonder Women, generated by these stories.

Academic Overview
Wonder Woman’s latest incarnation owes everything to her earlier appearances in DC Comics, beginning in the middle of the 20th Century. And while the clay she was made from may be classically Greek, she was also Modernist in origin. Inspiration for her character can be found in the innovations of the women writers living in Paris between the Wars. Modernism set the stage for a twentieth century characterized by unprecedented change; but modernist writers also stood firmly on ancient ground, with strong imaginative roots in classic Greek mythology. We will explore the key connections between contemporary feminism, modernism and Hellenism, as we examine three pairings of literary texts–two versions of Antigone, Sophocles’ ancient text and Jean Anouilh’s 1941 adaptation, first performed in Nazi-occupied Paris; the legends of Lesbos and Amazon Warriors, and Sappho’s poetry as the springboards for a host of women poets in the 1920ies; and from there to our contemporary Wonder Woman, imagined by her creator, William Moulton Marsden, as the warrior raised on the island of Themyscira, and as a feminist icon. We will reinforce reading, writing and analytical skills as we locate these texts in the contexts of Ancient Greece and of Europe between the Wars. By the end of the course, students will be able to trace today’s Amazons and wonder women through the uniqueness of modernism and its fruitful intersection with the remarkable stories handed down from Western Hellenistic tradition.

Program Fee/Cost
Program Fee includes:  Transportation and course arrangements as indicated, hotel accommodations in twin and triple rooms, continental breakfast daily, and four dinners (subject to change).

A writing-intensive course in the humanities, including experience with textual analysis.

Required Readings
List of texts will include Sappho’s poetry, and the poetry of H.D., Amy Lowell, Gertrude Stein, Renee Vivien and Natalie Barney, along with some prose writing by Virginia Woolf and Rebecca West, excerpts from other ancient texts, as well as the two texts of Antigone and some readings on the origin of Wonder Woman (Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and Jill Lepore), actual DC comics and the most recent film.

Papers x3                                    40 points       120 points
Journal                                        60 points        60 points
Synthesis Essay                           40 points        40 points
Participation (sites, discussions)    80 points        80 points
                                                               Total 300 points

Faculty Directors
Cecilia Konchar Farr, St. Catherine University (651) 690.6559, email: ckfarr@stkate.edu
Melissa Bradshaw, Loyola University Chicago, (773) 508-2796,
email: mbradshaw@luc.edu

Description of Faculty Directors
Dr. Cecilia Konchar Farr is Chair of English at St. Catherine University and teaches core interdisciplinary, women’s studies and literature courses. Her scholarship focuses on twentieth-century American literature and culture, particularly the novel and its women readers. Professor Konchar Farr has (joyfully) led 17 UMAIE study-abroad programs in France, England, Spain, Italy and Japan, including several courses on Modernism and one on Harry Potter.

Dr. Melissa Bradshaw currently serves as Writing Across the Curriculum coordinator at Loyola University Chicago, where she also teaches literature, writing, and graduate level theory. She has also taught in the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at DePaul University, where she was an Assistant Professor from 2004 to 2010. From 2002-2004 Dr. Bradshaw served as an Assistant Professor in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Program at Barat College of DePaul University.  She received a Ph.D. in English with a certificate in Women’s Studies from Stony Brook University in 2000. Dr. Bradshaw has co-taught three previous UMAIE courses in Paris.

Application Procedures & Deadline
· Select the How to Apply link to start your online application.
· All applications received by your home institutions priority deadline will be sent to the faculty immediately. Applications will be taken after that deadline for programs with space still remaining until the final application deadline of October 1, 2018.

Final Application Deadline: October 1, 2018

For more information on course content, contact Cecilia Konchar Farr
On application procedures or logistical information, contact your study abroad office.