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COLT 360 - Gender and Identity in Literature

CRN: 40656

Instructor: Bess Myers

Term: Summer 2017

Gender & the Rhetoric of Wartime Heroism

What is a war hero? What does it mean to be ‘at war’? How do political leaders use speech to shape their audiences’ conceptions of wartime heroism? How does the meaning of wartime heroism change, depending upon one’s gender and race? In this course, we will investigate ancient Greek and Roman notions of wartime heroism in the context of gender identity, and how modern American leaders express and understand the meaning of heroism. After an introduction to classical rhetorical theory, we will explore speeches, epic poetry, drama, and historical narrative in the ancient Greek and Roman traditions, as well as speeches and narratives from the Vietnam War era and the Iraq War. We will consider also how pacifism and protest are related to heroism in ancient Greek and Roman and modern American societies.

Satisfies General Education Requirements:

  • Group-Satisfying: Arts and Letters
  • Multicultural Courses: Identity, Pluralism, and Tolerance (IP)