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University of Oregon

Lecture: “Of Ouija Boards and the Fourth Dimension”

Mar 30, 2016

Nial Munro LectureWednesday, March 30, 2016, Niall Munro, Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University and head of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Center, will give a lecture, “Of Ouija Boards and the Fourth Dimension: Queer American Poets and the World Beyond,” at 3:30pm in the Knight Library Browsing Room.

According to Dr. Munro, “Numerous twentieth-century writers attempted to get in touch with the spirit world beyond in the hope that it might provide good material for their work; W.B. Yeats, perhaps, most notably. But for the American poets Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), Hart Crane, and James Merrill, the stakes were rather different. All three, this paper will argue, used or provoked mystical and occult experiences in order to establish a space for a queer community to exist. Such a community might have seemed a necessary support to writers who lived in a time that, at best, marginalized people with alternative sexualities, but I also want to show how this desire for queer community emerged at various moments of crisis for these poets – personal, literary, and political – that threatened to destroy their identities as writers altogether.”

Sponsors: Mark Whalan, Robert D. and Eve E. Horn Professor of English, UO English, Oregon Humanities Center, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.