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2 February 2022 - 2 February 2022

12:00AM - 1:00PM


  • Free

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Clock face inside the Musee D'Orsay in Paris

'Crusing as liberatory practice in early libertine fiction'

Dr Tracy Rutler

In this talk, Professor Rutler will present material from her recently published book, Queering the Enlightenment: Kinship and Gender in Eighteenth-Century French Literature (Liverpool UP, 2021), focusing particularly on what cruising can teach us about political engagement. José Esteban Muñoz has demonstrated the potential of cruising for producing modes of temporality capable of creating new forms of collective existence (Cruising Utopia 2009), and we find many instances in which queer eroticism in eighteenth-century libertine fiction opens up such worlds of possibility to its readers. Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer ascribe an intensely pessimistic (if still, in their view, honest) view of society to the libertine fiction of Sade, but I propose that earlier libertine fiction - especially that of Crébillon fils - demonstrates the utopian potential of random sexual and erotic encounters. 

This event is open to all but we request that non-Durham University participants attend via registration. Registration for this event will close at 5pm, Tuesday 1 February.