The English Department & LGBIT Studies Present
The Gregory Bredbeck Memorial Lecture
Professor of English, University of Iowa
Monday, May 7, 2012
Light refreshments will be served
The Fashion System (1967), by Roland Barthes, is this most pleasurable of critics' least pleasurable text. It is also his least personal one. Another problem is that, by analyzing – structurally – the mere verbiage of fashion magazine advertisements, Barthes fails to see and hence understand what images they present. I can imagine, though, how he might have re-written this book, more pleasurably, as a queer poststructuralist attentive to such images – which is to say, the way I myself usually write but also, more importantly, the way Barthes himself, in works like Camera Lucida (1980), later did. And so I will actually attempt that revision for him.
A native New Yorker, Kevin Kopelson attended both Bronx High School of Science and The Juilliard School. He majored in music at Yale and then got a law degree from Columbia. After practicing law, he got a doctorate (from Brown) in English Literature. Much to his surprise, he's been in Iowa ever since – teaching queer theory, critical theory, and cultural studies at the University of Iowa. He has also written books: "Love's Litany" (1994), "Beethoven's Kiss" (1996), "The Queer Afterlife of Vaslav Nijinsky" (1997), "Neatness Counts" (2004), "Sedaris" (2007), and "Confessions of a Plagiarist" (2012).