Female Rage from Medea to Lady Macbeth and the Modern World

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Michael Bryson / California State University, Northridge
contact email: 

Call for Papers

In an era in which the rights of women are under attack from multiple angles, from the recent Supreme Court decision in the United States of America, to the quickly increasing restrictions on women in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, one might begin to despair of human beings ever learning the lessons of our own past, and finally leaving behind the ugly tendency to subjugate (slightly more than) half the human race. As women are erased, dominated, and even enslaved by men (who often seem to regard freedom of movement and decision making as an exclusive possession), it might also be instructive to note how literary, poetic, and dramatic portrayals of such dynamics have portrayed, and sometimes reified, but often powerfully challenged the inhumanity of such treatment. What does it say about the authors who have considered this subject (sometimes repeatedly), and what does it say about us as readers and audiences that we seem to need to have this subject put in front of us in every era, relearning and somehow re-forgetting the same lessons again and again?

This Special Issue of the journal Humanities invites contributions that consider the influence of classical tragedy on Shakespearean tragedy, and the literary/dramatic forms that follow, with a special concentration on the way Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Virgil, Ovid, and Seneca focus on female grief and/or loss and/or the desire for revenge, and the ways in which that emphasis manifests in Shakespeare's portrayals of multiple female characters (and perhaps even one male character—Hamlet?) experiencing grief and/or loss and/or the desire for revenge.

Questions and/or approaches that would be especially welcome include:

1) How Shakespeare uses/abuses/transforms/challenges/reproduces various Classical portrayals of female grief, anger, revenge, and desire for power and/or self-determination.
2) How a later author/work engages with both various Shakespearean and Classical portrayals of female grief, anger, revenge, and desire for power and/or self-determination.

Manuscript Submission Information

 Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


The editor of this special issue, Michael Bryson, is Professor of English at California State University, Northridge. He is the author/editor of five books to date:

The Routledge Companion to Humanism and Literature (New York/London: Routledge, 2022)
The Humanist (Re)Turn: Reclaiming the Self in Literature (New York/London: Routledge, 2019)
Love and its Critics: From the Song of Songs to Shakespeare and Milton’s Eden (Cambridge: Open Book, 2017)
The Atheist Milton (Ashgate Press, 2012, Reprinted by Routledge, 2016)
The Tyranny of Heaven: Milton’s Rejection of God as King (U. Delaware Press, 2004)

More information about the editor can be found here: