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Sappho on the Small Screen: Becoming Lesbian in Modern France

Event Type
Department of History
1000 Lincoln Hall
Oct 26, 2022   3:30 - 5:00 pm  
Tamara Chaplin
Marc Hertzman
Originating Calendar
History Department

“Sappho on the Small Screen” 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, Professor Tamara Chaplin's talk (culled from her forthcoming book, Becoming Lesbian: A Queer History of Modern France, University of Chicago Press) 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. 


Tamara Chaplin is Associate Professor of Modern European History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


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