The new month found Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis celebrating the publication of her new book La Virginité en question, ou les jeunes filles sans âgé, which translated reads “The question of virginity, or the power of ageless girls.” Dr. Eftihia Mihelakis is an assistant professor at Brandon University in the Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Gender and Women’s Studies. La Virginité en question, ou les jeunes filles sans âgé was previously published in Montreal but just recently launched in Brandon.
The seats ended up filled with a mixture of faculty, students, and others as Dr. Mihelakis and Dr. Bouliane sat at the front. An apology about the sun which was seemingly determined to blind the audience was offered before the discussion began.
The discussion began with Dr. Bouliane asking as to the current importance or state of virginity. In response Dr. Mihelakis emphasised the cultural significance that virginity hold “There’s a question in how, what is it that makes virginity true. What is it that makes virginity make us believe in it constantly. What is it that makes us believe that there is something true behind it (11:00).” She then went on to describe how she found herself amongst medical journals which play a part in her studies, and she pointed how they were unable to determine a binary of before and after of virginity. She summarizes that “Yet it is rather that it has cultural implications still today.”
Throughout the discussion Dr. Mihelakis described the existence of spaces, of a before and after virginity. She discussed her transition from the word virginity into hymen and the medical journals that surfaced with this word that dealt with “medical jurisprudence” which is the branch of law that deals with medicine and how it sought to create a bodily proof the virginity. She explained her transition into works back into antiquity where she found the figures of the harpies that occupied a liminal space in their perpetual virginity and being “childless children”.
After the discussion was over it ended with a questioning period in which the audience had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Mihelakis, a wine a cheese followed with the audience having the opportunity to have a book signed.
Dr. Mihelakis will be holding another talk on March 9th titled “From the Ethical Turn to the Scandalous in Late 20th Century French Literature” which will be held at 3:40PM in Clark Hall room 104.