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Monday, April 11, 1:20 pm (MU 104 with Zoom feed, link below)
Professor Emily Baragwanath will present as part of our Faculty Tea Talk Series: “Supplanting Pandora: Xenophon on Mothers”
This paper addresses Xenophon’s strategies for disarming the negative emotions inspired by the old misogynistic narratives – Pandora and co.: since it seems clear he thought such narratives do need to be confronted head-on and preemptively. Rather than ignoring Pandora and getting on with producing his own portraits of women, he gives us two women whose names conspicuously recall Pandora’s: only ultimately (if I am right) to show that Panthea and Theodote offer not dangerous and corrupting pleasures, but beneficent pleasures connected to positive emotions and conducive friendship. Besides refiguring feminine beauty and sexuality into positive facets of leadership and heroism, in elsewhere drawing attention to mothers – my focus in this short talk – Xenophon in Memorabilia 2 shifts the emphasis to the results of sexuality, and there uncovers female heroism. Finally we’ll take a look at some evidence that Xenophon was alive to the power of a well-judged metaphor to work on the emotions of a listener (and readers), and suggest that maternal images fall into this category.
The talk will be held in Murphey 104 and streamed over Zoom at the following link:

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