Devilish and Debonair: The Wildean Dandy and the Long Life of a Gay Stereotype
The fifth event in the Leeds Cultural Conversations series 2018/19.
Presented by Professor Ruth Robbins.
An all-consuming interest in self-image, a pose of world-weary cynicism coupled with quick wit languorously expressed – these are the hallmarks of the figure of the dandy. It is a stereotype long-associated with dissident sexualities, and its high priest is Oscar Wilde. Using Wilde’s social comedies as a case study in the figure’s development and influence, this talk is about both the uses and abuses of a stereotype of gay identity. It traces a long history of the dandy, both backwards and forwards from Wilde, to raise questions about its persistence as a marker of gay identity, in order to examine what this may tell us about cultures of representation.
This event coincides with LGBT History Month and is in support of the OUTing the past conference 2019. The event is also part of the Leeds Cultural Conversations series organised by the Centre for Culture & the Arts at Leeds Beckett University.