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July 27 , 2009

Why are We Reading Ovid's Handbook on Rape?

Teaching and Learning at a Women's College


Why Are We Reading Ovid's Handbook on Rape? raises feminist issues in a way that reminds people why they matter. We eavesdrop on the vivid student characters in their hilarious, frustrating, and thought-provoking efforts to create strong and flexible selves against the background of representations of women in contemporary and classical Western literature. Young women working together in a group make surprising choices about what to learn, and how to go about learning it. Along the way they pose some provocative questions about how well traditional education serves women. Equally engaging is Kahn's own journey as she confronts questions that are fundamental to women, to teachers, to students and to parents: Why do we read? What can we teach? and What does gender have to do with it?

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