Oscar Wilde's Afterimages: Oscar Wilde and the Commodification of Queer Culture

Oscar Wilde's Afterimages: Oscar Wilde and the Commodification of Queer Culture
Thursday, October 4, 2012 (All day)

Franklin Humanities Institute, HASTAC, PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, and Program in the Study of Sexualities at Duke Sponsors Presentation and Workshop by Modernism and Queer Theory Scholar Petra Dierkes-Thrun of Stanford University


Oscar Wilde's Afterimages: Oscar Wilde and the Commodification of Queer Culture

Who: Dr. Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, Stanford University

What:  Presentation

When: October 4, 12:00-1:30 pm

Where: Bay 4, Haiti Lab, C106 of Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd.

Description:  Oscar Wilde has meant different things to different people since the late 19th century, but probably nowhere has his legacy been felt more strongly than in the queer and feminist community and associated scholarship since the 1980s.  Today, Wilde is considered a prime ancestral node within the genealogy of queer aesthetics and eroticism of Western culture, due in large part to the many 20th-century writers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and cultural theorists (queer and straight) who have creatively reimagined and critically examined his life and works.  But as with all powerful myths of origin, the ongoing story about Wilde as the queer ancestor probably tells us more about our own desires and fears, and our own culture, than about the historical Oscar Wilde and Victorian culture. 

This talk will deal with queer and feminist afterimages of Wilde since the 1980s (specifically, of Salomé and The Picture of Dorian Gray) that both spiritualize and commodify the signifier Wilde for our own present: their utopian and material impulses, their sale and consumption in queer and mainstream culture alike.  Approached from a Foucaultian perspective that regards fantasies of transgression and perversity as constitutive rather than oppositional elements of a larger cultural network, examining these afterimages of Wilde becomes an important way of engaging with an imagined and desired past that continues to speak to us in beautiful and seductive tongues.

PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge Workshop (open to the public and PhD Lab Scholars):  How to create a humanities MOOC

Who: Petra Dierkes-Thrun, Cathy Davidson, and David Bell will lead this conversation.  Open to students of the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge and to the general public.

What:  Workshop

When: October 4, 1:30-2:30 pm

Where: Bay 4, Haiti Lab, C106 of Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd.

Description:  This workshop is geared towards PhD Lab students but is open to the public. Dierkes-Thrun will call upon her own experience integrating technology into instruction, joined by Duke Professors Cathy Davidson and David Bell, co-directors of Duke’s new PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge.

PRESS RELEASE:

DURHAM, NC  Dr. Petra Dierkes-Thrun of Stanford University will be on Duke’s campus October 4, 2012 to give a presentation on Oscar Wilde and his legacy in contemporary culture, including queer and feminist scholarship.   Following the presentation, Professor Dierkes-Thrun will also be leading a workshop with Duke Professors Cathy Davidson and David Bell, co-directors of the new PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge.  Workshop attendees will participate in a discussion on how traditional humanities scholars might rethink the limits and impacts of their disciplines through Massive Open Online Courses, or “MOOCs.”  This workshop is geared towards PhD Lab students but is open to the public. Dierkes-Thrun will outline her own experience integrating technology into instruction. She has written a number of blog posts regarding this topic, including one entitled, “Scene: The digital education world. Enter: A traditional humanities teacher. Curtain rises,” on HASTAC.org.

Dierkes-Thrun is a Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Stanford University. She is the author of Salome's Modernity: Oscar Wilde and the Aesthetics of Transgression (University of Michigan Press, 2011) and co-edits the international academic online journal The Latchkey: Journal of New Woman Studies. Her research and teaching interests include fin-de-siècle and modernist literature and culture, LGBTQ and feminist studies, visual and performance media, and digital pedagogy in the humanities.

Dierkes-Thrun notes:  “Oscar Wilde has meant different things to different people since the late 19th century, but probably nowhere has his legacy been felt more strongly than in the queer and feminist community and associated scholarship since the 1980s.  Today, Wilde is considered a prime ancestral node within the genealogy of queer aesthetics and eroticism of Western culture, due in large part to the many 20th-century writers, musicians, filmmakers, artists, and cultural theorists (queer and straight) who have creatively reimagined and critically examined his life and works.  But as with all powerful myths of origin, the ongoing story about Wilde the queer ancestor probably tells us more about our own desires and fears, and our own culture, than about the historical Oscar Wilde and Victorian culture.  This talk will deal with queer and feminist afterimages of Wilde since the 1980s (specifically, of Salomé and The Picture of Dorian Gray) that both spiritualize and commodify the signifier Wilde for our own present: their utopian and material impulses, their sale and consumption in queer and mainstream culture alike.”

“It is a thrill to have Professor Dierkes-Thrun at Duke to talk about her research on Oscar Wilde and also to discuss digital humanities content in the context of our new PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge,” Cathy Davidson noted.  “And it is very ‘HASTAC-like’ that both she and her partner Sebastian Thrun will be on campus at the same time, each talking about the importance of education to a mobile, digital world, one from the point of view of the humanities, the other from the point of view of computational sciences and artificial intelligence--and both with a sense of urgency and passion about the importance of education in the 21st century.” 

Professor Sebastian Thrun is a professor at Stanford, the CEO of Udacity, and a Google Fellow.  He will be speaking at 5 pm on October 4 in the Westbrook Building, Room 0016, on "Technologies for a Mobile Society" as part of the Provost's Lecture Series, “Information Futures.”

This joint visit is sponsored by the PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Program in the Study of Sexualities at Duke, HASTAC, and the Office of the Provost.

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Contact:

Anna Rose Beck, Executive Assistant to Cathy N. Davidson

anna.beck@duke.edu

919 684-8471

 

HASTAC

Duke University, 114 S Buchanan Blvd., Box 90403 Durham, NC 27708-0403 USA

contact@hastac.org  www.hastac.org   www.twitter.com/hastac

 

Event Flyer

 
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HASTAC Scholars and Duke Phd Lab Scholars will be live-tweeting all Thrun-at-Duke events using the hashtag #Thrun12. Join us!

 

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