Spring 2010


Book Talk and Cocktail Party for José E. Muñoz

February 5, Friday

MC: Nao Bustamante

Panelists include:

Barbara Browning, Performance Studies, NYU

Lisa Duggan, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU

Gayatri Gopinath, Social and Cultural Analysis, NYU

Ricardo L. Ortíz, American Studies, Georgetown College

Performers: Dynasty Handbag and Kalup Linzy


Co-sponsored by NYU’s Department of Performance Studies and Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality.


Brown Bag Lunch Talk

February 8, Monday
12:30 to 1:45 PM

Katie Brewer Ball, Doctoral Candidate, Performance Studies, NYU

The “more speculative genres,” as Junot Diaz calls them, such as science fiction and fantasy continue to enthusiastically capture the attention and interest of the American public. What precisely, is the draw that such stories hold for mass consumers, and more specifically why do they become rallying points for the more marginal publics of queers and people of color? As part of her dissertation project on the art of escapology, Katie Brewer Ball focuses on the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao to explore the affective experiences and connections made through an attachment to speculative fiction.

41-51 East 11th Street, Room 709
between University Place and Broadway
(wheelchair access at 85-87 University Place, between 11th and 12th Streets)

Part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series — bring your own lunch and we’ll provide beverages and dessert!


A lecture by Elizabeth Freeman


Elizabeth Freeman, English, UC Davis

Developmentalist accounts of psychological and bodily becoming plot the “growth” and “maturation” of both individual subjects and populations in ways that reduce what counts as a viable social formation or a livable life. Taking issue with the straightjacket of this way of telling time, Elizabeth Freeman instead argues for an “erotohistoriography”: to wit, a politics of unpredictable, deeply embodied pleasures that might counter the neo-liberal demand to narrate time in one direction only. This talk is part of a larger book project that seeks to offer a revised history of sexuality by centering queer pleasures and proposing the body as site of historical encounter–in and across time. Through these encounters across time, we might get a glimpse of historically specific pleasures and ways of organizing a life that exceed the current cramped politics of same-sex marriage as end game of sexual liberation.


Elizabeth Freeman is Associate Professor of English at University of California, Davis. She began her teaching career at Sarah Lawrence College, joining the faculty of UC Davis in 2000. She specializes in American literature and gender/sexuality/queer studies, and her articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals. Her first book was entitled The Wedding Complex: Forms of Belonging in Modern American Culture (Duke UP, 2002). A new book, Time Binds: Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories, is forthcoming from Duke University Press. She also edited a special double issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies on the topic of “Queer Temporalities.”

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Department of Performance Studies; Department of English; and Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; and by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard College.


Brown Bag Lunch Talk

March 1, Monday
12:30 to 1:45 PM

Amber Musser, Gender Politics, Draper Program, NYU

Imagine that you were in love with the Golden Gate Bridge? What would this mean to you? What kind of relationship would develop? This talk is an exploration of objectum sexuals–people who form meaningful and erotic relationships with objects. By examining this phenomenon, we can gain insight into how concepts of love, intimacy, agency, and, ultimately, subjectivity are shifting in the twenty-first century.

Amber Musser is an assistant professor/Faculty Fellow in Gender Politics in NYU’s John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program. Dr. Musser received an A.B. in Biology and History of Science from Harvard (2002), a M.St. in Women’s Studies from Oxford (2003), and a Ph.D. in the History of Science from Harvard (2009).

Dr. Musser’s work focuses on psychoanalysis, queer affect, and theories of subjectivity. Her dissertation, “On the Subject of Masochism,” is a history of the various readings and re-readings that produced masochism’s discursive shift from psychiatry to critical and queer theory. Portions of her dissertation have been published: “Masochism, a Queer Subjectivity” in Rhizomes and “Reading, Writing ,and the Whip” forthcoming in Literature and Medicine. All of Dr. Musser’s work is a dialogue between history and philosophy of science, critical theory, queer and feminist theory, and critical history. In addition to bringing science and gender and sexuality studies together in conversation, she believes that treating these areas together reveals a new space in which to situate and destabilize our prevailing notions of subjectivity and agency. This perspective allows her to focus on understanding race, ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, and class as critical dimensions of personal experience, which also extends to the realm of science. In keeping with this theme, she has published an article, “From Our Body to Yourselves,” which discusses the shift in concepts of Woman and community within the Women’s Health Movement in the 1970s. She has also been working on an article, “The Obscure Object of Desire,” that interrogates negotiations of intimacy and sexuality in relationships with inanimate objects. In addition to turning her dissertation into a book, Dr. Musser is currently researching queer attachments to objects and embodiments of multiple subjectivities. While at Harvard, Dr. Musser received the Derek Bok Award for Teaching Excellence.

41-51 East 11th Street, Room 709
between University Place and Broadway
(wheelchair access at 85-87 University Place, between 11th and 12th Streets)

Part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series — bring your own lunch and we’ll provide beverages and dessert!


A lecture by Kandice Chuh

March 23, Tuesday
6:30 to 8 PM

Kandice Chuh, English, University of Maryland

This talk brings together aesthetic theory and U.S. minority discourse. By doing so, Chuh illuminates the longstanding and intimate relationship between aesthetics and “difference,” and shows how the critical vantage of minority discourse revises trenchant understandings of, especially, aesthetic subjectivity. This new understanding serves as a basis for the theorization of a critical subjectivity that responds to the exigencies of both post-identity critique and the neo-liberal university.

Kandice Chuh is an associate professor of English and the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Maryland, where she is affiliated with the American Studies Department and the Asian American Studies Program. She is the author of Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique (2003), and the co-editor, with Karen Shimakawa, of Orientations: Mapping Studies in the Asian Diaspora (2001). Chuh’s current book project investigates the possibilities of theorizing post-identity subjectivities through an engagement with aesthetic theories and philosophies.

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and Asian/Pacific/American Institute.


A panel discussion

March 25, Thursday
7 to 9 PM

RSVP to ma123@nyu.edu

Margarita Lopez, Board Member of the New York City Housing Authority

Rosie Mendez, Member of the New York City Council from the 2nd District

Ann Northrop, journalist and activist, current co-host of TV news program Gay USA

Melissa Sklarz, first openly transgender public official in New York State

Moderated by C. Nicole Mason, PhD, Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU Wagner

With the election of Annise Parker as the first openly gay mayor of Houston, the nation’s 4th largest city, women are increasingly at the forefront of LGBT equity and American politics. As the New York Times recently observed regarding queer women and the entertainment industry, “The lengthening list of prominent “out” lesbians on the small screen — Ellen DeGeneres, Rachel Maddow, Suze Orman, Jane Velez-Mitchell, Wanda Sykes — isn’t quite mirrored by a comparable list of openly gay men.” Can the same be said for queer women in public service?

University Lecture Hall, Room 101
19 West 4th Street

The LGBTQ Alumni Council of New York University strives to foster a supportive and vibrant community for LGBTQ-identified alumni and allies; to educate LGBTQ alumni beyond their tenure at the University; to provide networking opportunities among and between LGBTQ alumni and students; and to advocate on behalf of the LGBTQ students, faculty, staff and alumni of NYU.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, the NYU Office of LGBT Student Services, OUTLAW, Stonewall Policy Alliance, and CampGrrl


A film screening and discussion presented by the Reel Queer Film Series
of the NYU Office of LGBT Student Services

Monday, March 29
6 to 8 pm

A film by Michael Jacoby
2007; 71 minutes; USA

During the 1960s, members of LGBT communities openly fought for their civil rights. Now, as that generation grows older, many are confronting discrimination from the government, social services and their communities. Ten More Good Years looks at being gay and gray in America with revealing profiles of out, proud and active senior citizens, including photographer and filmmaker James Bidgood, performance artist Harry Bartron, Stonewall uprising witness Miss Major, and lesbian activist Ivy Bottini.

Natalie Chin, Staff Attorney a Lambda Legal, will discuss legal protections for LGBT elders.

Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South
LGBT Lounge, Suite 602

For more information, please contact the NYU Office of LGBT Student Services at 212.998.4424 or email lgbt.office@nyu.edu.

Co-sponsored by: Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, Office for International Students & Scholars, Student Resource Center, and Office of LGBT Student Services


A joint presentation by David T. Mitchell and Sharon L. Snyder

April 1, Thursday
4 to 6 PM

David T. Mitchell, Institute on Disabilities, Temple University

Sharon L. Snyder, Brace Yourselves Productions

In this co-presentation, Mitchell and Snyder analyze the ideological, aesthetic, and pedagogical effects of disability film festivals. Mitchell and Snyder are particularly interested to explore the way such festivals, by screening an array of international films, manage to respond to newly evolving concepts of “being disabled” even as they resist articulating a shared identity based on collective coherence of experience, affect, or diagnosis.

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

Co-sponsored by NYU’s Council for the Study of Disability; Department of Social and Cultural Analysis; Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies; and Center for Study of Gender and Sexuality.


Brown Bag Lunch Talk

April 5, Monday
12:30 to 1:45 PM

Sandeep Parmar, CSGS Visiting Scholar

Hope Mirrlees’ (1887-1978) psychogeographical long poem Paris (published by the Hogarth Press in 1920) is a prime example of modernist writing that predates (and perhaps influenced) T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land. This talk will consider some previously unacknowledged sources of influence for Paris, which emerge from an analysis of Mirrlees’ archive at Cambridge. I will also briefly address revelations from Mirrlees’ papers and how they relate to her literary legacy, its rehabilitation and ongoing questions about her sexuality.

41-51 East 11th Street, Room 709
between University Place and Broadway
(wheelchair access at 85-87 University Place, between 11th and 12th Streets)

Part of the Brown Bag Lunch Series — bring your own lunch and we’ll provide beverages and dessert!


April 6, Tuesday
7 to 8:30 PM

Mario Montez is the great drag Superstar who reigned over the New York Underground film and theater scene from the early 1960s until the mid-1970s. Not to be missed.

Department of Performance Studies Studio
Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Please RSVP to this event, even if you are affiliated with NYU, to: PSLectures@gmail.com

Part of the NYU Department of Performance Studies Lecture Forum Series; co-sponsored by CSGS


A lecture by Dean Spade

April 7, Wednesday
6 to 8 PM

Dean Spade, Seattle University School of Law; Founder, Sylvia Rivera Law Project

As critical trans politics continues to emerge and develop, there is an increasingly vocal demand for trans political formations to center racial and economic justice and respond to crises facing trans populations, such as criminalization and immigration enforcement, that have often been marginalized in a employment discrimination/family recognition-focused “LGBT rights” framework. This critical trans politics is often openly opposed to the legal reforms that dominate the most visible trans political schemes, such as the push to include “gender identity or expression” in hate crimes statutes. This lecture examines how we might take up the challenge of these critical interventions, recognizing the limits of formal legal equality demands, while still engaging with certain legal reform strategies. Specifically, the lecture will examine whether Foucault’s description of laws as tactics in the context of governmentality might be helpful to understanding and strategizing the role of law reform in social movements that understand formal legal equality to be a feature of neoliberalism that masks or even contributes to disparity.

Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

For more information about this event, please call SCA at 212-992-9650.


A lecture by Lauren Berlant

April 8, Thursday
7 to 8:30 PM

Lauren Berlant, English, University of Chicago

“After the Good Life” works with two films of Laurent Cantet [Ressources humaines/Human Resources (1999) and L’Emploi du Temps/Time Out (2001)] to engage the new affective languages of the contemporary economic atmosphere across Europe: languages of anxiety, contingency, and precarity that take up the space where social democracy, upward mobility, and meritocracy used to reign. What happens to optimism when futurity splinters as a prop for getting through life? How to understand the emergence of this felt crisis in relation to transformations of the good life fantasy? The question reaches broadly, but the archive focuses on a variety of crises in the professional classes, which no longer can delegate precarity to the poor or the citizen sans papiers; its interest is in exploring how a new cinema of precarity stages the end of an era of social obligation and belonging by focusing, microhistorically, on what happens to manner and manners.

Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Professor of English at the University of Chicago. Developing concepts of affective publics since The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life (Chicago, 1991), she has completed a trilogy on national sentimentality, with The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (Duke, 1997), and The Female Complaint: the Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (Duke, 2008). She is also editor of Intimacy (Chicago, 2000), Compassion (Routledge, 2004), On the Case (forthcoming) and, with Lisa Duggan, Our Monica, Ourselves (2001). This talk is from her next book, Cruel Optimism.

Lipton Hall
108 West 3rd Street

Jointly sponsored by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality, NYU, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women, Barnard College; co-sponsors: NYU’s Department of Performance Studies and Social and Cultural Analysis


A screening of scenes and discussion with filmmaker Carmen Oquendo-Villar


The Needle follows Jose Quiñones, a gay retired nurse who runs an underground, non-surgical cosmetic clinic in Puerto Rico, as he attempts and fails to reconcile with his estranged family. Forced to confront and reconcile with his own loneliness, Quiñones ultimately realizes he has a surrogate family in the clinic’s eclectic cast of working-class clientele, mostly transgender sex workers, addicted to Quiñones’s needles, body enhancement treatments and to each other’s affection.



A symposium co-organized by NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics with funding by The Henry Luce Foundation

April 30, Friday
10 AM to 6 PM

Keynote lecture by Roberto J. Blancarte (Center of Sociological Studies, El Colegio de México).

Other confirmed participants include: Faye Ginsburg (Anthropology, NYU), Marcial Godoy-Anativia (Hemispheric Institute, NYU), Carol Mason (English, Oklahoma State University), María Consuelo Mejía (Catholics for the Right to Decide), Ann Pellegrini (Religious Studies and Performance Studies, NYU), Diana Taylor (Performance Studies, NYU) Juan Marco Vaggione (National University of Córdoba/CONICET), and David Harrington Watt (History, Temple University).

Click here for PDF of full program.

This one-day symposium explores the “religionization” of public policy and legislation concerning gender and sexuality throughout the Americas. In addition to offering analyses attentive to specific national contexts, participants are also interested to ask how not just legislation but even moral framings—ways, that is, of naming and shaping the public perception of a “social problem”—travel across national borders.

Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

Roberto J. Blancarte is Professor and Director of the Center of Sociological Studies at El Colegio de México in Mexico City. He is the founder and main counselor of the Interdisciplinary Program for the Study of Religions (PIER) of El Colegio Mexiquense in Zinacantepec, Mexico, and an associate researcher of the Groupe Sociétés, Religions, Laïcités in France. Blancarte has been counselor at the Mexican Embassy to the Holy See and Chief of Staff of the Vice-ministry of Religious Affairs. His research work has dealt with sociology of religion, particularly Church-State relations, secularisation, “laicity” and lately around the connection between the secular State and sexual and reproductive rights. He has been Visiting Professor at Dartmouth College (NH, USA) and the École Pratique des Hautes Études (France). He is the author and editor of several books, including Historia de la Iglesia católica en México (1992); Religión, Iglesias y democracia (1995); Laicidad y valores en un estado democrático (2000); Afganistán, la revolución islámica frente al mundo occidental (2001); El sucesor de Juan Pablo II: Escenarios y candidatos del próximo cónclave (2002); Entre la fe y el poder: Política y religión en México (2004); Sexo, religión y democracia (2008); Los retos de la laicidad y la secularización en el mundo contemporáneo (2008); Para entender el Estado laico (2008) and numerous articles in scientific reviews. He writes a weekly column on politics and religion for a national newspaper (Milenio) and participates actively in local politics, particularly around the subject of civil freedoms.

Faye Ginsburg is David B. Kriser Professor of Anthropology at NYU. She also is the director of the Graduate Program in Culture and Media; the director of the Center for Media, Culture and History; and co-director of the Center for Religion and Media. She received her Ph.D. in 1986 from the City University of New York.

Marcial Godoy-Anativia is a sociocultural anthropologist and the Associate Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at New York University. From 2000-2007, he worked in the Program on Latin America and the Caribbean and the Program on International Collaboration at the Social Science Research Council. His recent publications include “Between the Hammer and the Anvil: Middle East Studies in the Aftermath of 9/11,” (with Seteney Shami), “We Are Living in a Time of Pillage: A Conversation with Carlos Monsiváis,” and Ciudades Translocales: Espacios, flujo, representación—Perspectivas desde las Américas (2005), co-edited with Rossana Reguillo.

Carol Mason is director of Gender and Women’s Studies and associate professor of English at Oklahoma State University. She is the author of Killing for Life: The Apocalyptic Narrative of Pro-life Politics (Cornell University Press, 2002) and Reading Appalachia from Left to Right: Conservatives and the 1974 Kanawha County Textbook Controversy (also from Cornell, 2009). Mason’s articles have appeared in Cultural Studies, NWSAJ, Journal of Constitutional Law, Appalachian Journal, Hypatia and many edited collections. Her scholarly interest in the rise of the right since the 1960s complements a background in activism and nonprofit development.

María Consuelo Mejía is an anthropologist with a masters Degree and Doctoral Studies in Latin American Studies. She is one of the founders of Catholics for the Right to Decide (CDD Mexico) and its director since 2005. During 2004 she worked for the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region based in New York as Senior Program Officer for the Safe Abortion Project. Mejía has received numerous awards for her remarkable work on the defense of women’s human rights, community leadership and for her individual contribution to Reproductive and Sexual Health: Award from Amnesty International USA in 1998; The medal “Omecíhuatl” from the Women’s Institute of Mexico City, in October 2006; “To the women who opened a way through Politics” from the Women’s Institute and the Minister of Social Development and the Government of Mexico City on November 2007; ‘Medal of Honor’ from the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere (IPPF/WHR) on July 2008. Maria Consuelo is author and coauthor of a number of publications.

Ann Pellegrini is Associate Professor of Performance Studies and Religious Studies at New York University. She has been director of CSGS since 2008. She received her Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Harvard University, in 1994. She holds degrees in Classics from Harvard-Radcliffe College and Oxford University as well as an M.A. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University.

Diana Taylor is University Professor at NYU, where she teaches in the departments of Performance Studies and Spanish. She is the author of Theatre of Crisis: Drama and Politics in Latin America (1991), which won the Best Book Award given by New England Council on Latin American Studies and Honorable Mention in the Joe E. Callaway Prize for the Best Book on Drama, of Disappearing Acts: Spectacles of Gender and Nationalism in Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’, Duke U.P., 1997, and The Archive and the Repertoire: Performing Cultural Memory in the Americas (Duke U.P., 2003) which won the ATHE Research Award in Theatre Practice and Pedagogy and the Modern Language Association Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize for the best book in Latin American and Spanish Literatures and Culture (2004). She is editor of Stages of Conflict: A Reader in Latin American Theatre and Performance (2008, Michigan U. P.) and co-editor of Holy Terrors: Latin American Women Perform (2004, Duke U.P.), Defiant Acts/Actos Desafiantes: Four Plays by Diana Raznovich, Bucknell U. P., 2002, Negotiating Performance in Latin/o America: Gender, Sexuality and Theatricality, (1994, Duke U.P.) and The Politics of Motherhood: Activists from Left to Right (1997, University Press of New England). She has edited five volumes of critical essays on Latin American, Latino, and Spanish playwrights. Her articles on Latin American and Latino performance have appeared in The Drama Review, Theatre Journal, Performing Arts Journal, Latin American Theatre Review, Estreno, Gestos, Signs, MLQ and other scholarly journals. She has also been invited to participate in discussions on the role of new technologies in the arts and humanities in important conferences and commissions in the Americas (i.e. ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure). Diana Taylor is Founding Director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, funded by the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations.

Juan Marco Vaggione is a full time researcher at the Argentinean National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) and a professor of Sociology at the School of Law, National University of Córdoba. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the New School for Social Research (2005) and a Doctorate in Law and Social Sciences from the National University of Córdoba (2001). His main research interests are the interconnections between religion and politics in Latin America as well as the analysis of sexual and reproductive rights. Vaggione is currently directing a research project on religious influences on public policies in Argentina in the context of current debates about sexual and reproductive rights. Furthermore, Vaggione is a close collaborator of Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir.

David Harrington Watt is Professor of History at Temple University where his research and reaching interests include U.S. religious history; U.S. intellectual history; and twentieth-century U.S. social and cultural history. His first book, A Transforming Faith: An Exploration of Twentieth-Century American Evangelicalism (Rutgers University Press, 1991), focused on the intellectual history of popular evangelicalism in the years between the famous Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee and the election of Jimmy Carter. In Bible-Carrying Christians: Conservative Protestants and Social Power (Oxford University Press, 20002), Watt used ethnographic research to rethink the relationship between Bible-carrying Christians and social power in Reagan’s America. He is currently working on a new book, which is tentatively entitled: “Anti-fundamentalism: A Brief History.”

This event is made possible by the generous support of The Henry Luce Foundation.

For more information about this event, please contact the NYU Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics at 212-998-1631.