This engaging lecture explores the modern perception of Alexander’s sexuality – his queerness – in literature, film, and other forms of popular culture in the twenty-first century, a period of incrementally increasing gay visibility in world politics and international culture. The material is representative of current trends in the queering of Alexander.
Alexander’s queerness, it transpires, is more than the sum of its parts. There are numerous queer Alexanders, each adopting the different personas of the ever-shifting, ever morphing, multivalent world of gay identity. Alexander can be the romantic hero, dreaming of a better world, safe in the arms of his boyfriend; Alexander can be the voracious porn star, with an insatiable lust for his squaddies; and Alexander can be the all-singing-all-dancing Broadway hoofer, the American boy-next-door. But in the images examined in this lecture, Alexander is always a figure of some fantasy, and even if the creator of that image is not necessarily male or homosexual, Alexander is enthusiastically claimed by the gay community.
Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones is Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University. He is a specialist in the history of ancient Persia, ancient monarchy, Greek socio-cultural history, the Hellenistic world, and the reception of antiquity. Recent publications include ‘The Culture of Animals in Antiquity’, ‘The Hellenistic Court’ and ‘Designs on the Past. How Hollywood Created the Ancient World.’