Tragic Transformations: Symposium on Female Revengers in Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants


Scholars are divided as to whether female avengers should be interpreted as honorary men, heroes in their own right, monstrous inversions of gender norms, or conduits through which male subjectivity is formed. Implicit in these debates are also questions about how revenge plots impact on wider constructions of gender, and whether such narratives reinforce conservative gender roles, interrogate the ‘masculine’ values that society prizes, or establish new ways of conceptualizing women and men. The symposium will explore these questions, examining the ways in which female revengers are portrayed and how these relate to wider cultural ideas about violence and the gendering of revenge. It will focus on female revengers such as Procne, Medea, Electra, Clytemnestra and Hecuba, and the ways in which these figures are interpreted and reconfigured in later works. IGRCT awared £623 towards this event.
Degree of recognitionNational
Granting OrganisationsInstitute for Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition, United Kingdom