Queering Don Quixote
Presented by Daniel Holcombe
PhD Candidate in Spanish, School of International Letters & Cultures, ASU
When one attempts to endow Don Quixote with a sexual characterization utilizing current terminology and theories, various challenges immediately come to the fore. Especially controversial are the temporal aspects of fixed sexual identities—and definitions—and how they are subsequently applied to a text more than 400 years old. Rather than calling Don Quixote what we would today consider homosexual, this lecture examines themes within the text that place the protagonist outside of contemporary patriarchal social models. Additionally, it presents examples of the protagonist’s feminized imagery in cultural production, while reviewing existing criticism that both engages and challenges a queer reading.
Daniel Holcombe is a PhD candidate in Spanish at Arizona State University. While his dissertation centers on illustrated editions of Don Quixote, as framed by the 1946 Random House edition illustrated by controversial Catalonian painter Salvador Dalí, part of his focus involves the historicity of queering Don Quixote’s major protagonists, especially as observed in the composition of Dalí’s illustrations. Mr. Holcombe has published in the U.S. and Latin America utilizing various theorizations within queer theory and his most recent publication on Dalí and Don Quixote focuses on Renaissance classicism as a unifying referent that spans the centuries.