You will find information about our organization and events on this site, including other blogs of interest. We hope you will join us at our meetings to hear scholars in the field share their work. We meet at the CUNY Graduate Center, 5th Ave and 36th St., in New York City.
Our second meeting of fall 2017 will be on Thursday, 19 October 2017.
On Oct 19, Jessica Delgado will present, “Troubling Devotion: Laywomen and the Church in Colonial Mexico.”
On Sept 14, Sydnee Wagner will present, “Othello’s Gypsy Handkerchief”
Sydnee Wagner is a PhD Candidate studying early modern English literature and culture at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her dissertation, Outlandish People: Gypsies, Race, and Fantasies of National Identity in Early Modern England, uses critical race theory, queer theory, affect theory, and biopolitics to focus on the construction of England’s white national project through the figure of the Gypsy. By focusing on notions of racial materiality, sexuality, and witchcraft, the dissertation project fleshes out the technologies of race making employed in literary and visual representations of early modern Gypsies. When she’s not busying herself with academic projects, she is also a published poet, with work featured in Quail Bell Magazine, Drunken Boat Journal, and Bettering American Poetry 2015.
Her presentation on September 14th argues that “[w]hile the ‘Egyptian charmer’ who purportedly created the handkerchief in Shakespeare’s Othello (1604) has been regarded as nothing more than a simple signifier for bad omens, the presence of the Gypsy woman imbues the handkerchief with associations of hypersexuality, counterfeit nature, and a seemingly unnatural relationship to magic. In attending to the Gypsy woman lurking behind the origin of the handkerchief, SYDNEE WAGNER will explore how the materiality of such objects often constitutes the immateriality of certain racialized subjects on the early modem stage, who are rendered ghostly matter in the wake of a memory in flux.”