Women in Myth and Literature: Helen of Troy

An Ashoka University online course for high-school students.


Mali Skotheim

Course Dates

23rd May – 9th June


INR 12,000 + GST


4:30pm to 6pm

About The Course

Helen of Troy lived a fascinating life, from her birth from an egg to her journeys crossing the Mediterranean from Greece to Asia Minor (or, by another account, into Egypt). Celebrated as the most beautiful woman in the world, and blamed for all the suffering of the Trojan War, Helen became a paradigmatic case in antiquity for thinking about the knowability of myth. This class will introduce students not just to various myths about Helen of Troy, but to ways of writing about Helen across literary genres, including epic, lyric poetry, tragedy, and rhetorical prose. We will be paying particular attention to the ways in which the story of Helen was fashioned and refashioned in each genre, and read selections from the primary sources, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Euripides’ Helen, and Gorgias’ Encomium of Helen. At the end of the course, we will also consider the reception of Helen in modernist poetry, by reading selections from Hilda Doolittle’s Helen in Egypt.

Apply for Horizons Summer 2022

    I Agree to Privacy Policy & consent to being contacted by AshokaX for course related information.

    Course Faculty

    Mahavir Jhawar

    Mali Skotheim

    Ph.D. Princeton University
    Mali Annika Skotheim is Assistant Professor of English at Ashoka University. She earned her PhD in Classical Literature and Philology from Princeton University. She completed her Masters in Classical Literature and Philology from Princeton University and Bachelors in Latin from Swarthmore College.

    She is currently working on two monographs, which are respectively titled The Greek Dramatic Festivals in the Roman Era, and Radical Dancers: A Cultural and Intellectual History of Pantomime.

    Her research interests include Greek and Roman drama and dance, Sanskrit drama, paratheatrical forms (puppetry, trick magic, automata), Global Antiquities, Material Culture and Performance.

    Horizons Course Objectives

    Discover Your Interest and Aptitude

    Go Deep Into Specific Disciplines

    Learn with Amazing Peers from Schools across India

    Explore Unique Perspectives and Ideas

    Develop New Skills and Abilities

    Learning Support for the Course

    Brinda Sarma

    Teaching Assistant
    Brinda Sarma – Teaching Assistant
    Brinda Sarma is currently pursuing her Masters in English at Ashoka University. Her research interests include pre-modern literature from the Hellenistic era, early medieval Chinese period and ancient India. Her MA thesis is a comparative project concerning the writings of the Neopythagorean women and the Therigatha by Early Indian Buddhist Nuns.

    Madhavi Menon

    Professor of English, Ashoka University

    Director, Centre for Studies in Gender & Sexuality

    Director of the PhD Programme in English

    Ph.D. Tufts University

    Madhavi Menon is an eminent theorist and scholar of gender, sexuality, politics, and identity. 

    She joined Ashoka University in 2013 as one of its founding faculty members. She went on to establish the university’s Centre for Gender & Sexuality Studies (CSGS), which is the first of its kind in India. Previously, she was a professor at Ithaca College and American University

    Most prominently known for her work on queer theory and Shakespeare, she has also edited the collection Shakesqueer and written three books on Shakespeare and sexuality. She is also most recently the author of Infinite Varieties: A History of Desire in India and Law of Desire: Rulings on Sex & Sexuality in India. 

    In addition to being Director of CSGS, she is the Director of the Ph.D. programme in English and Professor of English at Ashoka University.