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The Politics of Voice in Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls

Image by Jean Michel Moreau Paris 1741
Nancy Felson, Professor Emerita of Classics, UGA
265 Park Hall
Faculty visits

Nancy Felson, Professor Emerita of Classics, UGA, will deliver a lecture entitled The Politics of Voice in Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, a contemporary British novel that retells the Iliad primarily from the perspective of Briseis, Achilles’ war prize, who recounts events she witnessed long after she experienced the sack of her city and her captivity in the Achaean camp at Troy.

Prof. Felson will present the 2018 novel and interpret its experimental narrative techniques, especially its juxtaposition, in Parts II and III, of a limited 3rd person narration with Briseis’ retrospective 1st person tale. What is the cognitive effect on the reader of such unusual narrative practices? Why did Pat Barker not allow Achilles a 1st person voice? And what does this 2018 novel of the #MeToo Moment offer readers and students of Homer’s Iliad? How do its perspectival shifts influence our assessment of heroism during the Trojan War and our evaluation of of Achilles and the other warriors?

Undergraduate Programs

UGA Classics explores Greek and Roman culture (material; intellectual; religious) from Troy to Augustine; Classical languages and literatures (Greek, Latin, and in English translation); and the reception of Classical Antiquity with A.B. and M.A. Classics degrees with multiple areas of emphasis. Double Dawgs degrees focus on careers in Historic Preservation and World Language Education. Minor degrees in Classical Culture and Classics and Comparative Cultures complement degree programs across campus. New to Classics? Take a course with us on campus or in Europe and acquire future-ready skills.

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