Outstanding Lecture by Dr. Christina Wygant,  Empire of Masquerade: Crazy for “Mad” King Ludwig

Submitted by Cynthia Anderson on


Frye Auditorium

"Dr. Wygant's lecture was the highest attended so far in the series." - Dr. Eric Ames, Associate Professor in Germanics, University of Washington

Christina Wygant, Senior Lecturer, Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington

Every year thousands tour King Ludwig II's castles, encountering enigmatic stories of the king's life and demise. This lecture explores the current narrative of King Ludwig as framed for tourists and contrasts it with critiques of this history by academics. These narratives have established a contemporary myth of Bavaria, often centered upon Ludwig's role in the arts, offering a fascinating insight into the use of history, art, and fantasy in the creation of cultural identities.

This lecture is presented with the University of Washington’s Department of Germanics and the Simpson Center for the Humanities as part of Connections and Contexts, a series of lectures relating art, history, and culture to the Frye’s exhibitions.

About the Lecturer

Dr. Christina Wygant received her PhD in English and Textual Studies from the University of Washington in 2010. She has been teaching in the Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington since 2004. Dr. Wygant also teaches in UW English Department and Honors Program, and is the Director for the CHID Munich Study Abroad Program.

Image: King Ludwig II's coronation portrait by Ferdinand von Piloty, 1865.