The Modern Europe Colloquium presents Tamara Chaplin, Associate Professor of Modern Europe, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, on ““Sappho on the Small Screen: Becoming Lesbian in Modern France.”
Drawing on research from her forthcoming book, Becoming Lesbian: A Queer History of Modern France (U Chicago, 2024) Tamara Chaplin demonstrates how French state television unwittingly introduced queer female performances into living rooms throughout France and its empire in the mid-twentieth century. Focusing on musical variety shows from the 1950s and ‘60s, this talk counters the misconception that female same-sex desire was absent from French TV in the postwar era. In so doing, it contributes to “queering” the history of television—a project with broad implications that explores the media’s role in counterpublic formation while unmasking the heteronormative politics that shape the public sphere.
Location: HQ (Humanities Quadrangle), Rm 107, 320 York St.
The Modern Europe Colloquium is generously sponsored by the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund; the European Studies Council of the Yale MacMillan Center; Department of French; and the Department of History
Bio: Tamara Chaplin is an Associate Professor of Modern European History at the University of Illinois Urbana @ Champaign. She is a scholar of contemporary France whose specializations include histories of gender and sexuality, the media, WWI, human rights, philosophy, and queer theory.