Jun
25

Summer Research is Underway!

Hello everyone! So, I’ve spent the last few weeks in Williamsburg getting my summer research up and running, and I’m ready to update you all on my progress. About a month ago, with the help of my advisor, I set up a research plan for the summer outlining my ten weeks of work and organizing the weeks by topic to figure out what I should read when. As you can imagine, I’ve been clocking many hours in Swem! I started by rereading my classical source materials, the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and sections of Ovid’s Heroides to refresh myself on those works before diving into criticism about them. Since then, I’ve read some articles about early Greek culture to help understand the place of women in that society, and two books focused on Helen of Troy specifically. First, I read Norman Austin’s Helen of Troy and her Shameless Phantom, which talks about the counter-Homeric tradition of retelling the Troy story in ancient Greece and serves as a helpful survey of early Greek texts on the matter. Second, I read chapters from Mihoko Suzuki’s book Metamorphoses of Helen concerning the early canonical versions of Helen of Troy: Homer and Virgil. I’ll be revisiting this book later on to review its chapters on British Renaissance portrayals of Helen. This week, I’m reading some articles about agency, language, and women that connect to Suzuki’s work and will help me form working definitions of “agency” and “power” to help analyze Helen’s position in later texts. I’m excited to update you all with what’s next!

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