McClure, Laura (K)athleen 1959-
McCLURE, Laura (K)athleen 1959-
PERSONAL: Born December 26, 1959, in Wichita Falls, TX; married 1988; children: two. Education: Bard College, B.A. (languages and literature), 1982; St. John's College, M.A. (humanities), 1984; University of Chicago, M.A., 1986, Ph.D. (classical languages and literature), 1991.
CAREER: University of Wisconsin, Madison, associate professor of classics, 1991—.
Rhetoric and Gender in Euripides: A Study of SacrificeActions (Ph.D. thesis), University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1991.
Spoken like a Woman: Speech and Gender in AthenianDrama, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1999.
(Editor, with André Lardinois) Making Silence Speak:Women's Voices in Greek Literature and Society, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2001.
(Editor) Sexuality and Gender in the Classical World:Readings and Sources, Blackwell Publishers (Malden, MA), 2002.
Contributor of articles to professional journals, including Classical Philology, Classical World, Helios, and Classical Journal. Contributor to collections, including World Eras, Volume 2: Classical Greek Civilization, 800-323 BCE, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2000.
Contributor of reviews to scholarly journals, including Bryn Mawr Classical Review and Classical Philology.
SIDELIGHTS: In her academic career, Laura McClure has written extensively on Ancient Greek drama, with a particular focus on the treatment of women. In Spoken like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama, McClure explores the ways in which female characters either uphold or subvert the traditional order. While in general it is men who hold forth on public policy in Greek plays, and women are relegated to political or sexual scheming, McClure "digs a bit deeper and examines plays by Aeschylus, Euripides, and Aristophanes that have women employing verbal genres associated with men to examine, critique, and even subvert Athenian democracy," wrote a reviewer for the Seminary Co-op Bookstore Web site.
In addition, she explores the subtleties of feminine and masculine speech patterns in these plays, "offering a useful, occasionally provocative overview of the politics of gendered diction," wrote D. Konstan in Choice. For Judith Fletcher, writing in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, McClure's "unique contribution is an overriding theoretical approach which charts the common pattern of disruptive feminine discourse and its eventual necessary containment." Added Fletcher, "one of its most praiseworthy features is the happy marriage of sociolinguistics and literary analysis."
McClure followed up Spoken like a Woman by coediting Making Silence Speak: Women's Voices in Greek Literature and Society. The authors of this collection of essays attempt to recover the "voices" of ancient women, either through the few surviving letters or poetry by such women as Sappho, or through male-authored female characters in Homeric epics, fictional letters, dramas, and other sources. Even transvestite characters are examined for clues as to what it meant to speak like a woman. Obviously it is not always easy to tease out the real from the fictional in these sources. Noting that difficulty, Tim Whitmarsh wrote in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review, "Where Making Silence Speak succeeds most conspicuously is where, rather than confronting intractable sources with coercion, it homes in on the problems and issues raised in the process of 'making'; of constructing, gendered speaking subjects."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice, January, 2000, D. Konstan, review of Spoken like a Woman: Speech and Gender in Athenian Drama, p. 928.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review,http://www.ccat.sas.upenn.edu/bmcr/ (July 2, 2000), Judith Fletcher, review of Spoken like a Woman;(November 10, 2001) Tim Whitmarsh, review of Making Silence Speak: Women's Voices in Greek Literature and Society.
Princeton University Press,http://pup.princeton.edu/ (February 11, 2002), review of Spoken like a Woman.
Seminary Co-op Bookstore Web site,http://www.semcoop.com/ (February 11, 2002), review of Spoken like a Woman.*