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K-State Today

April 3, 2014



Luly to present lecture on literary, linguistic and cultural matters April 4

By Derek Hillard

Sara Luly, assistant professor of modern languages, will present a modern languages' Signatures Lecture on literary, linguistic and cultural matters at 4 p.m. Friday, April 4, in 201 Leadership Studies Building.

The title of the lecture is "Erotic Charge: Exploring Non-(hetero)normative Masculinity through Animal Magnetism."

In the 18th century, somnambulism was understood to be a trance-like state between wakefulness and sleep in which a female somnambulist was under the control of a male magnetist. The traits that were thought to define femininity — passivity, impressionability and weakness — were the very traits that made women ideal somnambulists. What then, do we make of literary texts that depict male somnambulism?

This presentation seeks to examine the queer potential of literary male somnambulism in the context of German romanticism. Through an examination of E.T.A. Hoffmann's Der Magnetiseur, Luly will explore non-hetero-normative constructions of masculinity and their significance within the context of 18th century gender studies.

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