Dr. Fran Bender
Woman Warriers: Goddesses, Nuns and Guns
Women warriors occupy an ambivalent position in the Western cultural imagination. On the one hand, the virtues of femininity are counter to those of the warrior: hard/soft, fierce/gentle, aggressive/docile, strong/weak. And yet, on the other hand, many manifestations of the woman warrior have informed the stories we tell ourselves about gender and belie a fundamental anxiety over female strength. This course will explore these manifestations as performances that tell us specific narratives about identity, narratives that are often complicated by the instability of normative gender roles. Using the Women's Studies lecture series, "Women Warriors," as a resource, we will use mythology, film, and folklore to explore the various manifestations of the fierce female from the landscape of popular culture from a trans-historical perspective. We will also be taking a trip to the Hunter Museum of Art to look at depictions of strong women in American Art.
Note: Please check the schedule of classes for the most up-to-date information about meeting times, locations, and availability.
About the professor
Heather Palmer is an Associate Professor of the History and Theory and also teaches classes in our Women's Studies program. She has taught courses on the Rhetorics of Embodiment, Postmodernism, and Persuasion and Propaganda She is also presently teaching a course on Queer Theory. Her current research work is on female Christian mystics and Byzantine Transvestite nuns, with an abiding interest in feminist rhetorical practices. She is also a fan of popular culture and applies the study of rhetoric to film analysis, a interest which informs the focus of this Special Topics course.Email Address: Heather-Palmer@utc.edu