Have you ever wished that you could go back in time to right an old wrong?
If so, then join us on Wednesday, February 20th at 4 pm in Room LL430/431 for “Out of History: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, the 1980s, and the Reclamation of a Lost Past,” for a talk by Michelle Ann Abate, Professor of Literature for Children and Young Adults at The Ohio State University.
Professor Abate will be discussing Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s critically acclaimed LGBTQ-themed young adult novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. More specifically, she’ll be considering a powerful paradox that occupies the center of the book. Aristotle and Dante is a historical novel that is set in the latter half of the 1980s and yet it never mentions an issue that played a major role both in the United States and especially in the LGBTQ community during this period: the AIDS crisis.
Professor Abate’s talk will make a case that seeming historical oversight is actually an empowering insight. Aristotle and Dante can be seen as offering a window onto the lives that might have been led and the personal experiences that might have occurred had the AIDS crisis not taken place—or, at least, if it had not been allowed to grow to such epidemic proportions through homophobia-fueled neglect, fear, and apathy. In so doing, Professor Abate argues that Sáenz’s narrative can more accurately be regarded not as a historical novel, but as a new type of queer speculative fiction.
Sponsored by The National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and the LGBTQ Research Consortium.
This event is free and open to the public.