Women Spies in Cold War Fiction
$1,305.00 – $1,520.00
COVID-19 update: We are planning for Toronto Pursuits in July 2021 but are not formally opening registration yet. We will be updating our product pages as we have more information from the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto on indoor gatherings, and from the Canadian and US governments on border and travel updates. We do have a variety of online seminars running now, with new groups starting almost weekly. Thank you for your support!
Joyce Wayne is the author of Last Night of the World, a historical spy novel about a female Soviet operative embroiled in the case that started the Cold War. She won an award for literary journalism for her work at Quill & Quire, the Canadian book publishing industry’s magazine. Joyce also launched the Sheridan Center for Internationally Trained Individuals, a program for refugee and immigrant journalists, at the college where she was a professor and head of the journalism program for many years.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, by John le Carré
Canadian ISBN-13: 978-0143189824
US ISBN-13: 978-0143124757
The Little Drummer Girl, by John le Carré
(Penguin, 2008 [Canada] and 2013 [USA])
Canadian ISBN-13: 978-0143168379
US ISBN-13: 978-0143119746
Red Joan, by Jennie Rooney
(Doubleday Canada, 2013)
Please be sure to purchase this Doubleday Canada edition.
Participants are required to obtain the specified edition to facilitate the group’s ability to find and cite portions of the text during discussion. Details will be provided at registration.
Whether pulp paperbacks or modern classics (a distinction not always sharply drawn), spy stories offer special insight into the workings of superpowers in stalemate. As the world slides toward Cold War 2.0, spy fiction again provides a space to explore fears of international conflict old and new.
Until recently, spy narratives have focused almost exclusively on the powerful male operative caught between duty to his profession and adherence to his personal code of behaviour, no matter how ruthless. Women characters, from accomplices to full-fledged spies, now play a more complex and vital role. Their presence raises new questions about the connection between the personal and the political, the “right” response to conflict, and more.
In this seminar we’ll trace the development of the female spy in three sophisticated literary thrillers: John le Carré’s The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (1963) and The Little Drummer Girl (1983) and Jennie Rooney’s Red Joan (2014). We’ll ask why women agents are portrayed as either willing or unwitting accomplices to male operatives, or as independent characters devoted to political activism.
Our investigation of the le Carré novels will centre on the moral ambiguity of male spies that both appeals to and repels the female characters drawn into a world of deception and violence. In Red Joan, heroine Joan Stanley (based on the real operative Melita Norwood) acts out her own deeply held political beliefs to become one of the most effective Soviet agents of the Cold War. We’ll consider how these narratives of women caught in—or seduced by—the dangerous game of international espionage shed light on the public’s fear of nuclear war, authoritarian governments and feminist ideas.
C$1,520 includes one seminar Monday to Friday, morning coffee and newspapers, five buffet lunches, afternoon speakers, a five-day opera lecture series, film screenings, guided walks, two cocktail receptions, and a range of other cultural and social activities. All costs are subject to the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).
See Registration and Cancellation Policy at https://www.classicalpursuits.com/fine-print/registration-policies/
ONE per registrant
- Participants who have attended Toronto Pursuits at least five times receive a C$215 discount.
- Register with a friend, and if one or both are first-time participants, each receives a C$215 discount.
Do you qualify for a loyalty or friend discount but would also like to purchase a concert ticket? Please make a note with your order when you check out and we will contact you.
You are responsible for booking your own accommodation. Click here for more information.
Stratford Shakespeare Festival Weekend
Join us for a weekend of top-notch theatre at our Stratford Festival excursion.
Concert ticket, Not eligible for discount, Five times, With friend, Gift registration