Desiring Othello: Race, Pity, and Petrarchism
A talk by Dennis Britton, Associate Professor, University of New Hampshire
Friday, November 15, 2019
7191 Helen C. White Hall
Britton’s talk explores Desdemona’s pity and love for Othello, and how and why Othello becomes desirable, arguing that Desdemona’s pity does not foreclose the import of Othello’s blackness on her feelings; in fact, her pity should be read as an expression of an English Petrarchanism that variously racialized male suffering and female pity. Othello suggests that the suffering black subject is a pitiful one; the pitiful black subject is a lovable, desirable one.
This talk is free and open to the public.