University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Lecture: Interpretive Ambiguity of Gender & Sexual Orientation in Schubert’s Erlkönig

Thursday, October 10, 2019
12:30pm – 1:45pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.

The Fall 2019 semester is co-sponsored by the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department (

Today's lecture is entitled, "Das ist queer! - Interpretive Ambiguity of Gender & Sexual Orientation in Schubert's Erlkönig" and will be presented by Steven Feldman (he/him/his.

Synopsis: n the 1990s, several prominent music historians took an interest in studying music with consideration to gender & sexuality. One famous example is that of musicologist Christopher Gibbs’ argument that composer Franz Schubert’s 1816 song Erlkönig is a reference to homosexuality. Though there is a great deal of evidence that supports this claim, my research offers a new interpretation of the piece - one that considers 19th-century gender roles instead of sexuality. This lecture will demonstrate that the problematic conflation of gender and sexuality is not a new phenomenon and in fact permeates the arts across time. Together, we will listen to the song, discuss both interpretations, and the audience will be able to decide for themselves which interpretation they believe to be true.

Biography: Steven Feldman holds a B.A. in Music and Gender & Sexuality Studies from Muhlenberg College, an M.A. in Music History & Theory from Stony Brook University, and is currently pursuing his second M.A. in Higher Education & Student Affairs at the University of Connecticut.  Steven’s musical research interests primarily include examining gender and sexuality in German art songs and English ayres.  Since beginning his studies in higher education at UConn, Steven has explored research projects including the use of language in gender-inclusive housing practices and college aspirations among LGBTQIA+ youth.  While at UConn, he has the privilege of serving as the Graduate Assistant for the UConn Rainbow Center, where he coordinates the FAMILEE Mentoring Program, plans programs for the Rainbow Grads & Young Professionals Group, and works with some of the best students and professional staff on campus.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches


Rainbow Center (primary), Office for Diversity and Inclusion, UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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