Why are we still reading Ovid's rapes?

Ranger, H. 2023. Forthcoming. Why are we still reading Ovid's rapes? in: Deacy, Susan, Malheiro Magalhães, José and Zacharski Menzies, Jean (ed.) Revisiting Rape in Antiquity: Sexualized Violence in Greek and Roman Worlds London Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 33-47

Chapter titleWhy are we still reading Ovid's rapes?
AuthorsRanger, H.
EditorsDeacy, Susan, Malheiro Magalhães, José and Zacharski Menzies, Jean
Abstract

For the 25th anniversary volume of the groundbreaking Rape in Antiquity: Sexual Violence in Greek and Roman Worlds (Deacy and Pierce, eds, 1997) this chapter brings Ovid to the fore of a study of rape while critiquing why this author was mostly absent from the 1997 volume. As the chapter sets out, the
1997 book was not ready to tackle Ovid, or, even, was part of a pattern to omit Ovid for fear of replicating the sexual violence of the source text. The chapter explores what it means to read the ‘textual sexual violence’ of Ovid via any feminist lens, including in relation to Amy Richlin’s landmark 1992 essay ‘Reading Ovid’s Rapes’ ([1992] 2014), and in relation to Han Kang’s novel The Vegetarian (Han 2007 [2018]). Is it possible, the chapter explores, to be a 'resisting' reader and – if so – where does this leave Ovid in relation to the classroom, where this author’s works have a firm place in the curriculum? The chapter not only brings Ovid to the centre of a book on ancient rape; it also contributes to an exploration of where evidence dealing with rape sits in pedagogical terms. The chapter argues that 'the case of Ovid' has not been satisfactorily resolved by feminist philologists, and that Ovid continues to raise multiple problems around what a classical syllabus is and can be or should be.

Book titleRevisiting Rape in Antiquity: Sexualized Violence in Greek and Roman Worlds
Page range33-47
Year2023
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Place of publicationLondon
ISBN9781350099203
9781350099210
9781350099227

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