MacEwen, Sally Books

Dr. Sally MacEwen is Associate Professor of Classical Languages and Literatures at Agnes Scott College in Georgia. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as chair of the Committee on the Status of Women and Minority Groups of the American Philological Association, and as co-chair of the Steering Committee of the Women’s Classical Caucus and editor of its journal, Cloelia. Dr. MacEwen’s work includes articles on Clytemnestra, pedagogy, and diversity in classics.

Superheroes and Greek Tragedy
2006 0-7734-5776-3
“A hero is someone who looks like a hero,” says film critic Robert Warshow, but in fact, we do not know who looks heroic to viewers other than ourselves. This study uses theories of affect and spectatorship to show how dramatic productions arouse pre-cognitive responses, such as pity and fear. These responses are tied to ideological frameworks: viewers root for Spiderman, but not for his arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin. In that case, affects arise from the value constructs of their cultures, and a comparison of heroes, modern films from Shane to Spiderman with stories of ancient Greek superheroes such as Antigone and Achilles, shows that each culture maintains a stereotype within which a range of responses to heroes can be defined. An ancient spectator, therefore, would not be concerned about whether Spiderman could save every innocent victim, for example, while a modern spectator does not admire Achilles when he demands respect before he saves his community. This study examines primary texts like the Iliad and Cryopaedia to set the viewing parameters of Athenian ideology, then considers how heroes, for example, like Oedipus and Iphigenia, might “look like heroes” to their original audience. This “affective hero,” unlike the structuralist hero, reflects the audience’s self-image back at itself and reveals surprising insights into culture.

Views of Clytemnestra, Ancient and Modern
1991 0-88946-627-0
Six essays by five classicists describing a number of ancient and modern works which have Clytemnestra as a central character. Combines classical philology, modern psychology, feminist theory, and a variety of other critical techniques to analyze old views of Clytemnestra and arrive at new ones ranging from that of a fearful monstrosity to that of a mater dolorosa. Includes many one-of-a-kind museum photos.