English R1A

Reading and Composition: Circe: Interpretations of A Witchy Woman

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
7 Fall 2022 Funderburg, Katie

Book List

Miller, Madeline: Circe


“Humbling women seems to me a chief pastime of poets. As if there can be no story unless we crawl and weep.” --Madeline Miller, Circe

Although Madeline Miller’s 2018 novel, Circe, recently prompted new interest in the witch of Aeaea, Circe has been a source of creative inspiration for thousands of years. As we will explore throughout this semester, poets and painters, short story writers and novelists alike have interpreted the character from a variety of perspectives. In this course, we will use Circe and the numerous works she has inspired to explore how gender, agency, cruelty, and grief are represented and intersect across both historical periods and genres. We will progress in a roughly chronological manner, starting with Homer’s Odyssey and texts from the Middle Ages, then working our way through poetry and prose ranging from the 17th to 21st centuries, and concluding with the novel Circe.

This is a writing-intensive course whose ultimate objective is to cultivate students’ analytical thinking and writing skills. To this end, we will spend a significant amount of time discussing how to productively engage with texts and effectively express observations and arguments in our own writing. Additionally, through the peer review workshops and the process of moving from a draft to a final paper, we will practice how to give and receive feedback constructively.


Back to Semester List