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The Myth of Women and Madness: Sylvia Plath and Zelda Fitzgerald


The idea that “b*tches be crazy” is not new. Since the dawn of Christianity, women have been construed and constructed as mentally unstable. We'll examine the origins of these ideas, the lack of protection women had because they were wards of their fathers or husbands, and investigate the lasting implications of this legacy of women and madness. 

In this class, we will look closely at women like Zelda Fitzgerald and Sylvia Plath, deconstructing their actual lived experiences and how that may have contributed to their perceived madness. We will also-- of course-- discuss their husbands F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ted Hughes and how these men factored into the mythologized stories of their respective wives. Topics will include: religion, European precedents, the first biologists and early gynecology.

Wine provided by Jenny & Francois.




Location: Strand Bookstore

828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

The Rare Book Room at Strand Bookstore boasts an elegant venue for our Friday night residency.


Other upcoming Olios


Nov 30

Wishes of the Dead

Taught by Barry Lam
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Dec 5

Visitation: Strange Beauty in the Italian Renaissance

Taught by Ted Barrow
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $15

Dec 7

What Does a Feminist City Look Like?

Taught by Lauren Hudson
7:30 p.m. at Blender Workspace

Sign Up - $20

Dec 12

Somebody to Love: A Feminist Reading of Freddie Mercury

Taught by Jamie Warren
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $20

Feb 9

OlioHouse | The Love Symposium

Taught by Skye Cleary
noon at OlioHouse | Wassaic, NY

Sign Up - $150


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