statue of Hecate

Project on Reclaiming the Symbols


I. Read the article by Helen Haste, paying particular attention to her explanation of the need for “deconstructing and reconstructing the various metaphors of the relationship between masculine and feminine” (193) and the strategies for change that she recommends, especially the following:

II. Pair up with another student to form a team; working together, browse through sites on the World Wide Web that deal with women or women's issues, looking for an image/symbol-rich site that provides a good example of either (1) reinforcing the old symbols or (2) reclaiming the symbols in the way that Haste recommends. NB: Each team will be responsible for one site, either of type (1) or of type (2).

III. Select a few pages from the web site that offer the best demonstration of (1) or (2) and print them out, being sure to include the title and URL of the site.

IV. Working together, write an analysis of the site from the perspective of reclaiming the symbols as defined by Haste: “Real authenticity comes from saying ‘This is not how things are; this is not how I experience them’—and providing a new perspective” (189). Your analysis will differ depending on which type of site you have selected:

Be very specific and concrete in your analysis; each team should be prepared to discuss their site in class on February 25. Here are a few links that may help you in your search for a web site:

February, 1999
Barbara F. McManus
Topics and Assignments; Syllabus