‘Classical Antiquity and Modern Gay Counterculture’ – Tom Sapsford, Bates College, Maine.

Tuesday 2 February, at 17.15. All welcome, but please do register in advance via the IHR website.( https://www.history.ac.uk/events/classical-antiquity-and-modern-gay-counterculture)

This talk explores how the gay underground came into contact with the typically establishmentarian field of classics. It will investigate the ways in which a series of gay male writers, filmmakers, performance artists, and activists working in the US and UK from the late 1970s to the mid 2000s subverted classical antiquity by presenting it as a dangerous terrain reminiscent of their own physical, economic, and political precarity. In particular, the talk will examine how William S. Burroughs incorporated writings by the ancient Greek and Roman historians into his own form of historiography, which he termed a ‘magical theory of history’, in his last three novels, the Red Night Trilogy, published at the beginning years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Please note that Professor Sapsford’s 30 minute presentation is now available to view here on his YouTube channel. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1Ux820LiaA&feature=youtu.be) He will give a short overview at the start of the seminar before we move straight to questions and discussion, so please do watch the presentation in advance

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