Where was – or is – St. Brendan’s Isle? This talk undertakes an historical and conceptual mapping of this mysterious and shifty place, from its first perception as God’s Paradise to its modern debunking as a mirage. Dinshaw moves from a medieval text to modern expeditions of discovery and re-enactment, finally using the concept of the mirage – at once real and illusory – to think anew, and queerly, about location, mapping, and desire.
Carolyn Dinshaw is Julius Silver, Roslyn S. Silver, and Enid Silver Winslow Professor in the Departments of Social and Cultural Analysis and English at New York University. She is the author of How Soon is Now? Medieval Texts, Amateur Readers, and the Queerness of Time (Duke UP, 2012); Getting Medieval: Sexualities and Communities, Pre- and Postmodern(Duke UP, 1999); and the first full-length feminist study of Chaucer, Chaucer’s Sexual Poetics (U of Wisconsin P, 1989). With David M. Halperin she founded and edited (1993-2005) the flagship journal of LGBT Studies, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (Duke UP).