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New Books in Dialogue: Early Modern Queer Studies – Christine Varnado + Joseph Gamble on The Shapes of Fancy: Reading for Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature

April 16, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

The Early Modern Research Workshop is inaugurating a “New Books in Dialogue” series, which brings together UB faculty and colleagues at other institutions who have newly published or soon-to-be-published books to discuss their works.

Please join us (on Zoom) on Friday, April 16 at 12:00pm for a conversation with Joseph Gamble (University of Toledo) and Christine Varnado (Dept. of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies) about Varnado’s book, The Shapes of Fancy: Reading for Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature (Minnesota, 2020).

The Shapes of Fancy is a book about how readers experience dynamics of affective and erotic energy in texts from the past. Varnado follows four recurring “shapes of fancy” through Renaissance drama and prose tracts: the desire to be used to others’ ends; indiscriminate, bottomless appetite; paranoid self-fulfilling suspicion; and melancholic longings for impossible transformations and affinities. Providing a set of methods for analyzing desire in texts from any period, The Shapes of Fancy stages an impassioned defense of the inherently desirous nature of reading, making a case for readerly investment and identification as vital engines of meaning making and political insight.

Joseph Gamble is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Toledo. They are working on a book about sexual knowledge and sexual pedagogy called Sex Lives of the Early Moderns, and they have published articles on “Practicing Sex” and “Toward a Trans Philology” in the Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies. Joey is one of the organizers of an upcoming seminar at the Shakespeare Association of America conference on “The Kinky Renaissance.”

Christine Varnado is Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies at UB. She is a founder and co-director of the Humanities Institute Queer Studies Research Workshop. In addition to The Shapes of Fancy, she has published essays about “Invisible Sex: What Looks Like the Act in Early Modern Drama?”, “Queer Nature; Or, The Weather in Macbeth”, and “The Quality of Whiteness: The Thief of Bagdad and The Merchant of Venice”.

This is a co-sponsored Early Modern Research Workshop and Queer Studies Research Workshop event.
Organizers: Early Modern Research Workshop (Marla Segol, Ndubueze Mbah, Paola Ugolini) and Queer Studies Research Workshop (Christine Varnado, Margaret Rhee, Cody Mejeur)


April 16, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Event Categories:


Early Modern Research Workshop
Queer Studies Research Workshop