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Heroines: Curious, Caring, and CraftyMaster ClassIn-Person

Headshot of Maria Tatar in front of greenery

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2023

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Joseph Campbell’s 1949 The Hero with a Thousand Faces pointed out a male-coded narrative that could be found in every culture. That “marvelously constant” story was a redemptive journey filled with adventures, as heroes returned from battles with monsters and brought an elixir or “boon” back home. Women have a shared story too, and they are not just mothers and muses, as Campbell thought. Like Scheherazade in the Arabian Nights, they have used words as their weapons and stories as their shields, less to seek glory or immortality than to survive, secure justice, and change the culture in which they live. In this class, Maria Tatar will take us on a journey that begins with a study of Campbell’s monomyth and identifies the features of heroines, ranging from Arachne and Philomela to Wonder Woman and Nancy Drew. In this new pantheon, we will discover how curious, caring women use their craft to make the world fair, in both senses of the term.

Maria Tatar

Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Research Professor of Folklore and Mythology and Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. She is also a senior fellow at Harvard’s Society of Fellows. Among her many books are The Heroine with 1,001 Faces, The Classic Fairy Tales, The Annotated Brothers Grimm, and The Annotated Peter Pan.