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Saturday Seminars: Women, Myth, and Culture

Saturday, February 17 at 9:30am to 12:00pm

Baker Downtown Center
975 High Street, Eugene, OR 97401

Most of us read myths and folk/fairy stories when we were young, and perhaps now we read them to our children or grandchildren. These stories, with their quests, struggles, and vanities, have embedded themselves in our cultural consciousness. Even if we scoff at them as adults, many of their themes and characters still compel our sometimes-reluctant interest. Who has not wanted to be the chosen one, or the brave one, or the clever one? Who has not shivered a little at the witch, the ogre, the dragon, in whatever forms they take in our lives? More particularly, what might we take for granted (“It’s only a story. . . ”) about the ways in which females and the feminine are represented in those stories? Why is the witch bad and the wizard wise? Why do so many girl characters get in trouble when they are curious or a little too pretty?

This four-week seminar will focus on ways in which women have been represented in myths, tales, and culture, and the ways in which women writers and artists have challenged those representations. We will ask questions, ponder reasons, and perhaps in the process find that these “old wives’ tales” are “curiouser and curiouser” than we imagined. We’ll let Alice, who was bored with lessons and very, very curious, be our tour guide down and through the rabbit hole of myth and its imprint on women within culture.

Classes are a combination of lecture and discussion, which will often be in the form of group exchanges regarding the texts we are reading. Participation and discussion is encouraged, as the class explore ideas together.


About The Instructor

Delia Fisher has taught various high school, community college, and university English courses over a long career as a teacher. She moved to Eugene in 1984 to teach in the University of Oregon departments of English and Multi-Cultural Affairs. Returning to graduate school, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Oregon in 1997, focusing on American literature and women writers.

In the years following, she and her husband (also a literature professor) taught at Auburn University in Alabama until 2001, and then at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. Delia taught a variety of classes at WSU and then was selected to coordinate the English Education Program, teaching and mentoring students who sought teacher certification.

In 2010, she retired and came home to Eugene. Since 2018, Delia has taught literature courses through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Oregon.

Event Type

Lectures & Presentations, Seminar


Division of Student Services and Enrollment Management, Continuing and Professional Education, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Target Audience

All Students, Faculty/Staff, General Public, Alumni



$95 OLLI-UO Members; $135 General Community Members


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