The Department of English and Comparative Literature is delighted to announce the next installment of its First Books serieson Wednesday April 28, at 6pm-7.30pm. These events celebrate first book publications by recent Columbia English PhDs, and feature contributions from the author, a Columbia faculty member, and a current Columbia graduate student.
This upcoming First Books event features Christine Varnado, PhD 2011, now assistant professor in the Department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University at Buffalo. Her first monograph, The Shapes of Fancy: Reading for Queer Desire in Early Modern Literature (University of Minnesota Press, 2020), offers a powerful new method of accounting for ineffable and diffuse forms of desire, mining early modern drama and prose literature to describe new patterns of affective resonance. It stages an impassioned defense of the inherently desirous nature of reading, making a case for readerly investment and identification as vital engines of meaning making and political insight. The book is available through Minnesota's new open access format: https://manifold.umn.edu/projects/the-shapes-of-fancy
Prof. Varnado will be joined by Prof. Jack Halberstam and Danielle Drees. Moderated by Prof. Julie Crawford. (In the event of strike action by GWC-UAW, this event will be postponed until the fall.)