University of Vermont

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University Scholar Lecture - Valerie Rohy

Oct 10, 2019
4:30 pm to 5:30 pm
Waterman Bldg 338 (Memorial Lounge)

The Story of Queer Narrative Theory

In his 1978 novel Dancer from the Dance, Andrew Holleran suggests that writing a gay novel is a "nearly impossible" task, not merely because it would not appeal to straight readers, but also because "they would demand it be ultimately violent and/or tragic." Narrative theory is the study of the ways stories work, their typical shapes and forms, and what counts as an ending, tragic or otherwise. Stories by and about LGBTQ people have their own distinctive traditions, tropes, and structures, as Professor Rohy will discuss in an overview of this developing field.

Val Rohy joined the UVM faculty in 2002, after receiving her Ph.D. at Tufts University and teaching at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. She teaches courses on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, gender and sexuality, and literary theory. She is the author of Impossible Women: Lesbian Figures and American Literature (2000), Anachronism and Its Others: Sexuality, Race, Temporality (2009), and Lost Causes: Narrative, Etiology, and Queer Theory (2015). Her next book, Chances Are: Contingency, Queer Theory, and American Literature, will be published by Routledge in November.

For more information, contact Hannah Helme at 802-656-3160 or

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