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Tuesday, February 9

On Intergenerational Queer Kinship and the Frail Body of August von Platen
4:30 pm
Ervin Malakaj
Sponsored by:
European Studies Center along with Department of German
John Lyon
Contact Email:

August von Platen’s (1796–1835) name appears regularly in queer German print culture around 1900. Following the highly advertised publication of the famed poet’s diaries in 1896 and then in 1900, sexologists and admirers took up the culture of reading his work for traces of the queer life he led. This talk explores one such project: Xavier Mayne’s The Intersexes: A History of Similisexualism as a Problem in Social Life (1910), which includes an extensive biography of Platen. This talk will examine how the crafting of Platen’s body in this text—an embodiment through words—played a central role in imagining an ideal queerness venerated by Mayne and much of the writing about Platen around 1900.

Ervin Malakaj is Assistant Professor of German Studies at the University of British Columbia. His scholarship focuses on German media studies, queer studies, and critical university studies. He is the co-editor with Regine Criser of Diversity and Decolonization in German Studies (2020, Palgrave)

Capstone Senior Seminar Research Projects: Chloe Abele, Meghan Fanning, Samantha Good, Anna Hudson, Jacob Kuzy, Ingrid Miller, Max Nowalk, Lauren Towner, Anne Marie Yurik