Wayne Koestenbaum.
Wayne Koestenbaum.

Wayne Koestenbaum at Plug In ICA

October 4, 2013 – 8pm to 9:30pm

On Friday, October 4th at 8:00 pm, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art will host a talk by the distinguished critc Wayne Koestenbaum. For his first ever appearance in Winnipeg, co-sponsored by Plug In and the University of Manitoba, Faculty of Arts: English, Film and Theatre, Koestenbaum will present new work in a multi-modal format in between lecture, reading, and performance.

Recently crowned by Avital Ronell as “our Roland Barthes, updated, remastered, cleared for the pressure zone of American mythologies,” Wayne Koestenbaum is one of the most exciting cultural critics working today. His books demonstrate an astonishing breadth, an insouciant refusal of disciplinary boundaries. He has written an examination of “the erotics of male literary collaboration” (Double Talk); a study of opera and homosexuality (The Queen’s Throat), which was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; the volume on Andy Warhol for the Penguin Lives series (Andy Warhol); an investigation into Jackie O’s iconic status in American culture (Jackie Under My Skin); a collection of essays on “sex, stars and aesthetics” (Cleavage); a delirious, sui-generis inventory of Harpo Marx gags (The Anatomy of Harpo Marx); and a kaleidoscopic compilation of reflections on humiliation (Humiliation), which John Waters has described as “the funniest, smartest, most heartbreaking yet powerful book I’ve read in a long time.” The voice that runs through these diverse texts is like no other within or without the academy, combining vast theoretical wattage, historical care, autobiographical readiness, subversive humour, and a poet’s sense of language’s expressive and musical capabilities. Indeed, Koestenbaum has also authored several books of highly regarded poetry, including Rhapsodies to a Repeat Offender, The Milk of Inquiry, Best-Selling Jewish Porn Films, and Blue Stranger with Mosaic Background.

Wayne Koestenbaum received his B.A. from Harvard, his M.A. (in creative writing) from Johns Hopkins, and his Ph.D. (in English) from Princeton. He is Distinguished Professor of English at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center, as well as a Visiting Professor of Painting and Printmaking at the Yale University School of Art.