Save the date: Peter Coviello workshop and talk Friday, March 4


[category, uc davis events]

Professor Peter Coviello of the University of Illinois, Chicago, will be coming to UC Davis on Friday, March 4, for two events:

12:00-1:30 PM, Friday, March 4, Voorhies 156: workshop for graduate students on his recent book, Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in 19th Century America (NYU Press, 2014).
Brown bag, but light refreshments will be served.

Tomorrow’s Parties: Sex and the Untimely in Nineteenth-Century America provides a rich new conceptual language to describe the movements of sex in the period before it solidified into the sexuality we know, or think we know. Taking up authors whose places in the American history of sexuality range from the canonical to the improbable—from Whitman, Melville, Thoreau, and James to Dickinson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, and Mormon founder Joseph Smith—Peter Coviello delineates the varied forms sex could take in the lead-up to its captivation by the codings of “modern” sexuality. While telling the story of nineteenth-century American sexuality, he considers what might have been lostin the ascension of these new taxonomies of sex: all the extravagant, untimely ways of imagining the domain of sex that, under the modern regime of sexuality, have sunken into muteness or illegibility. Taking queer theorizations of temporality in challenging new directions, Tomorrow’s Parties assembles an archive of broken-off, uncreated futures—futures that would not come to be.

4:10-5:45 PM, Friday, March 4, Voorhies 126: lecture, "The Polygamist’s Complexion: The Book of Mormon and the Biopolitics of Secularism"

This talk offers a reading of the Book of Mormon, the questions of indigeneity that animate it, and of a few of what me might think of as the counter-racialist narratives it encodes. We will consider, in turn, the fate of this anti-imperialist counterstrain as the Mormons head into the West, and begin to strive to distinguish themselves from the Native peoples there, the "Indians" with whom they were frequently identified. It wonders after the entanglements of sex, secularism, and racialization in postbellum America.

Sponsored by the Davis Humanities Institute, the Departments of English, History, Religious Studies, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies; the Ph.D. program in Cultural Studies; the Feminist Theory DE; the Humanities Program; and the Sexualities Across Disciplines Research Cluster.