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Celebrity Pornographic Characters and Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies

Tuesday 25 May 2021, 11.00AM

Speaker(s): Amelia Dale (SUIBE, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics)

Beginning with the intersections between celebrity and pornography, this talk analyses celebrity culture’s making private public, and the implications this has for the study of literary character. Turning to the mid-eighteenth century, a crucial time in the history of celebrity, pornography and character, and to Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies (1760-94), a long-running, serially published catalogue of women associated with the London sex trade, this talk, part of a larger collaborative project on Harris’s List with Nicola Parsons (University of Sydney), explores how Harris’s List depicts and exploits the notoriety of textual celebrities, figures such as Kitty Fisher and pimp-general Jack Harris, and by extension, how pornographic celebrity makes character.

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Image: Kitty Fisher by James Watson, after Sir Joshua Reynolds mezzotint, National Portrait Gallery.

Location: Zoom