Vernon Lee's Apparitional Lesbians and Transvestite Hauntings
The fourth event in the Leeds Cultural Conversations series 2019/20.
Presented by Professor Ruth Robbins.
The lesbian is a figure who has been marginalised and even erased from literary history. Unlike the much more visible gay man, strategies for representing female same-sex desires are considerably more coded and covert. In this talk, Ruth Robbins discusses the fin-de-siecle writer Vernon Lee (real name Violet Paget) and the uses she makes of the genre conventions of the ghost story to speak of desires that in her own time had very little visibility. In Lee’s work the lesbian ghost is fleeting – now you see her, now you don’t. But the very fact of her appearance expresses the will to be both seen and heard. The work of recovering that story is an important part of lesbian literary history.
This event will coincide with LGBTQ History Month.