Aayushi A. 2023 | BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
- Project Title: Through The [P]ages: A Feminist and Postcolonial Analysis of Medea in Contemporary Fiction
- Basis Independent Advisor: Manisha Banga
- Internship Location: University of Winnipeg
- Onsite Mentor: Dr. Melissa Funke
"Classical reception studies involve applying concepts from antiquity to a modern context while highlighting the significance of a text with regards to readers’ experiences. By applying modern theories to Greco-Roman texts, the study of classics becomes increasingly accessible and acknowledges diversity that merits exploration beyond that in ancient tellings.
My project focuses on Medea, a character notably criticized for rebelling against the ideal image of Greek women and associated with barbarism in a play by Euripides. As numerous adaptations of her story portray her deviation from social expectations, I plan to analyze her portrayal in contemporary fiction and research how her actions are interpreted through postcolonial and feminist lenses. In addition to examining the works of classical reception analysts like Vanda Zajko, I will navigate the theories of notable postcolonial scholars like Edward Said and the feminist theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty.
To focus my analysis, I will delve into The Hungry Woman: A Mexican Medea by Cherríe Moraga, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and Circe by Madeline Miller. Through virtual meetings, I will discuss my findings with Dr. Melissa Funke from the University of Winnipeg and value her insights on gender studies in antiquity.
By filling certain gaps in current scholarship regarding Medea’s foreigner status and motherhood, I plan to investigate minority representation in myths where it is often excluded from the canon and relate the themes I will explore to current events."