Wednesday, October 16th – Jordy Rosenberg

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Please join us for a reading and discussion with Jordy Rosenberg, Professor of English at UMass Amherst, and author of the recent novel Confessions of the Fox.

Confessions of the Fox is a historical novel that flirts with the academic and the fantastic. A scholar, Dr. Voth, finds a hidden manuscript purporting to be the autobiography of the notorious thief and jailbreaker Jack Sheppard (inspiration for The Beggar’s Opera and The Threepenny Opera). Studying this document, he is thrust into a world of criminal resistance and gender transformation, set against a global history of colonization, primitive accumulation, and the development of hormone science. The book has been widely lauded, and was on the New Yorker Best Books list, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. In the word’s of Fred Moten, “Beauty and violence go together; and what it is to live and practice that entanglement, under the duress of the cops in our streets and in our heads, is what Confessions of the Fox shows with lively, sexy brilliance.”

Jordy Rosenberg is also the author of Critical Enthusiasm: Capital Accumulation and the Transformation of Religious Passion, and a series of articles about queer theory, contemporary studies of sexuality, and the relationship between the personal and the political under capitalism: “The Daddy Dialectic,” “Gender Trouble on Mother’s Day,” “Trans/War Boy/Gender: On the Primitive Accumulation of T,” “Becoming Hole (The Hiddener Abode),” and “The Molecularization of Sexuality,” among others. Per his faculty page, “He is the recipient of a Society for the Humanities Fellowship from Cornell University (2013-2014), and an Ahmanson-Getty Fellowship from the Center for Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Studies at UCLA (2009- 2010), as well as a Marion and Jasper Whiting Foundation Award, the Catherine Macaulay Prize, and a William Andrews Clark Memorial Library Joint Fellowship Award. Professor Rosenberg’s fields of research and teaching include eighteenth-century transatlantic literature and poetry, moral philosophy, political theory, queer and trans theory, early modern materialism, Marxism, and secularization.”

Following Rosenberg’s presentation, there will be a response by Jo Giardini. They are a PhD candidate in the Johns Hopkins Department of English, working on literatures emerging from communalist and anti-urban movements in the aftermath of the 1960s. This will be followed by a q&a and a reception. All are welcome.

The event is co-sponsored by the Department of English, LGBTQ Life, and the Alexander Grass Institute for the Humanities.

We look forward to seeing you all there!