• Time: 14:00 - 15:00
  • Date: Wednesday 19 February 2020
  • Location: Business School, Maurice Keyworth, SR (G.31)
  • Interval:
  • Cost: Free event
  • Type: Lectures and seminars
  • Open to: Staff and students only
  • Download: Outlook, iCal

Christopher Wells asks, what have bisexuality, bi-erasure, bi-invisibility and Shakespeare got in common?

What have bisexuality, bi-erasure, bi-invisibility and Shakespeare got in common, and how are these intersections relevant to bisexuality in 2020? 

To answer, this talk will explore William Shakespeare’s construction of the bisexual subject through a critical refection on his collection of sonnets during Early Modern England.

Christopher Wells presents: “Shakespeare, the ‘master-mistress’ and Bisexuality in 2020”.

This talk will outline the etymology and socio-medical history of bisexuality in order to offer a chronological analysis of the formation of bisexual subjectivity. By extension, this discussion will reflect on the identity and function of the bisexual subject within Shakespeare’s attendant audiences.

The talk aims to provide a close reading of the complex treatment of the ambiguously coded ‘fair youth’, ‘The Dark Lady’ and the enigmatic psychosexual androgyny of ‘master-mistress’ as figures in Shakespeare’s sonnets.

This discussion will consider the relevance of Shakespearean models of bi-subjectivity for the LGBT community in 2020 through a specific focus on the language, categorically sexual identities, lived bi-experiences and recent legislative practice around bisexuality in 2020.

In retrospectively uprooting Shakespearean models of bisexual subjectivity, this talk will reflect on and engage with the limitations of language that impact upon bisexual intimacies and sexualised politics of identity.

Drawing upon cultural theorist Michel Foucault’s writings on sexuality, power and discourse this talk will further consider how much bisexual representation is restricted by the binarized language of hetero- and/or homosexuality in contemporary television including but not limited to Netflix’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Orange is the New Black and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Refreshments will be provided.

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More details about the location

Read the full LGBT+ History Month Programme

If you have any queries, please email equality@leeds.ac.uk