Wonder Women: Amazons in the Early Modern European Imagination (RSA 2019)
The blockbuster success of the 2017 film Wonder Woman reignited a global interest in the figure of the Amazon, eliciting celebrations of female strength and independence alongside debates about her exoticism and sexualization. A sequel, already highly anticipated by many, is slated for release in late 2019.
Such a widespread interest in the Amazonian warrior-woman—both her allure and her paradox—is not, however, a new phenomenon; the Amazons likewise captured the popular and elite imagination of the Early Modern period, featuring in literary productions across Europe. Building on scholarship by Frédérique Verrier, Kathryn Schwarz, Sarah Colvin and Helen Watanabe-O’Kelly, Eleonora Stoppino, and Gerry Milligan (among many others), this panel seeks to put Early Modern representations of Amazons into dialogue with one another, across linguistic traditions and national borders, in order to explore the nuances of how these women were imagined, discussed, and disseminated across Europe.
We welcome papers that explore questions of sexuality, female violence, gender-bending, orientalism, politics, and the like. Texts and themes of interest might include, but are not limited to:
- Histories (and “histories”) of the Amazons
- Literary and poetic imaginations of Amazonian women and/or their descendants, such as in the epic-chivalric tradition or in theater and/or opera
- Treatises, dialogues, or correspondences that make reference to Amazons in order to engage with the querelle des femmes
- The Early Modern use of Amazonian lore or symbolism for encomiastic purposes
Please send questions and/or abstracts (150 words) with a brief biography, A/V requests, and keywords to Victoria Fanti at firstname.lastname@example.org by July 25, 2018.