*POSTPONED* Amazonian Warrior Women in the Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes

A Presentation by Susanne Sreedhar
Apr 19, 2022, 4 PM
Newhouse Center Lounge/Zoom
See access restrictions below

Thomas Hobbes’s philosophy involves a fundamental shift in ideas about the theological, metaphysical, and axiological significance of sex, gender, reproduction, and the family. His political project fundamentally rejects the idea that dominion is naturally or divinely ordained, using a strategy I call dethroning. In this talk, I argue that the myth of ancient Amazonian warrior women, which he invokes in every version of his political theory, is one such act of rhetorical dethroning in that it attacks naturalized familial and gender hierarchies, denying natural parent/child, as well as husband/wife, relations of rule and subordination. Substantive discussions of Hobbes’s use of the Amazons in the secondary literature are few and consist of contradictory understandings of the example, with some seeing it as a prototype of early feminism and others seeing it as a retrenchment of misogyny and racism. I use my interpretation, one that makes sense of the example by reference to the internal logic of Hobbes’s overall philosophical and political project, in order to examine both sides of this debate.

This in-person event is open only to students, staff, and faculty in the Wellesley College testing protocol. No prior registration is required for community members to attend in-person.

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