In Conversation with the Rosenbach: Travis Lau

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Date / Time

  • November 16, 2017
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States

“The Blood Is the Life”: Dracula and the Victorian Politics of Blood

How do we begin to historicize blood as a fluid material and as a symbol that has the potential to bear a “social life” beyond the body? This talk considers Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) as a case study for how Victorian fiction (re)imagined the significance of blood in relation to Victorian debates about blood purity, blood transfusions, and contagion.

About the Speaker

Travis Lau is a Franklin/Fontaine doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania Department of English. His research interests include eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, the history of medicine, disability studies. His dissertation, Prophylactic Fictions: Immunity and Biosecurity, traces the British literary and cultural history of immunity and vaccination in relation to conceptions of national health and the rise of the security state. His academic writing has been published in Journal of Homosexuality, Romantic Circles, English Language Notes, and Digital Defoe. His creative writing has appeared in The Deaf Poets Society, Wordgathering, Assaracus, Rogue Agent, Up the Staircase Quarterly, and QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology (Handtype Press, 2015).

Join the Conversation

A series of informal, intimate talks given by literary and cultural luminaries, In Conversation with the Rosenbach delves into fascinating histories, intellectual curiosities, and inspiring ideas. Each program offers the audience a chance to join the conversation after the talk and share their own thoughts and questions.

Tickets will be available at the door.