Chip Badley

Chip Badley is the 2023-24 Hench Post-Dissertation Fellow at the American Antiquarian Society. A former managing editor of Camera Obscura: Feminism, Culture, and Media Studies, he researches aesthetics, literature, and gender and sexuality studies in pre-1900 American culture. He is at work on “Kindred Arts: Painting and Queer Sexuality in American Literature,” which offers a prehistory of queer identity prior to the so-called “invention of the homosexual” typically dated to the 1870s. “Kindred Arts” considers ekphrasis, or the verbal description of a work of art, as an archive of burgeoning queer expression—one in which spectators could explore same-sex and non-normative attachments by describing their impressions associated with painting. Focusing on literature from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it proposes that ekphrastic writing fostered queer encounters that frequently transgressed racial and ethnic boundaries, especially between Anglo-American spectators and people of color. In addition to this book project, his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Early American Literature, the Henry James Review, J19: The Journal of Nineteenth-Century Americanists, and elsewhere. His work has been supported by the American Antiquarian Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.