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Scholars@Hallwalls: Christine Varnado, “How Many Children?: The Queer Materiality of Reproduction and the Problem of Life”
February 11, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Please join us as we return to in-person talks in the cinema space at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center!
This talk revisits the much-maligned joke question of 20th century literary critical debates, “How many children had Lady Macbeth?,” taking the problem of what counts as a child, and how a child comes (or does not come) to be, seriously, as the central cosmological problem of the play. Probing literary figurations of generativity, from Shakespeare to Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Varnado interrogates how the question of what counts as life – what kinds of tissues, in what states of connectivity or animation, are recognizably “alive” – is inextricable from the historical question of who counts as human.
*Following the University at Buffalo’s on-campus protocols, beginning October 1, all attendees will be required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to be admitted to Scholars@Hallwalls. A vaccination card, a photo of a vaccination card, an Excelsior Pass or a digital vaccine card are all acceptable. Attendees should be prepared to show photo ID as well. We kindly request that attendees wear masks indoors during the talk in the cinema for the safety and well-being of all guests.
This event will be simultaneously live-streamed. A link will be provided in advance of the event date to watch the live-streamed video feed.
About Christine Varnado, Associate Professor, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Christine studies early modern English literature and queer theory. She is the author of The Shapes of Fancy: Reading for Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature (Minnesota 2020), and essays on “Invisible Sex!: What Looks Like the Act in Early Modern Drama?”, “Getting Used, and Liking It” as an erotic mode, “Queer Nature,” and “The Quality of Whiteness: The Thief of Bagdad and The Merchant of Venice” (Shakespeare Association of America Innovative Article Award, 2021). Her current book project probes the queer and unnatural dimensions of birth and death in Renaissance literature.