Spring 2015

The Foxy Merkins (2013, 81 min., Dir. Madeleine Olnek)

a screening & discussion with Madeleine Olnek & Laura Terruso

January 28, Wednesday
6:30 to 8:30 pm

Madeleine Olnek, director

Laura Terruso, producer

moderator: Ann Pellegrini, Performance Studies and Social & Cultural Analysis, New York University

Margaret is a down-on-her-luck lesbian hooker in training. She meets Jo, a beautiful, self-assured grifter from a wealthy family and an expert on picking up women, even as she considers herself a card-carrying heterosexual. Film trailer here.

Department of Cinema Studies, Michelson Theater
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History and the Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality.

Half-Sisters, Radical Queens, Lesbian Separatists, & Non-Men: Second Wave Trans Feminism

a lecture by Emma Heaney

February 10, Tuesday
6:30 to 8 pm

Emma Heaney, Draper Program, New York University

Respondent: Margaux L. Kristjansson, Anthropology, Columbia University

This talk moves off from archival documents of trans feminist political thought and struggle in the 1970s to suggest how trans feminist thought and practice — both “then and now” — can clarify two points that stalled 1970s feminist projects: (1) how can we be liberated “as women” when it is precisely the historical content of “woman” we seek to escape, and (2) can woman operate as a political category when women’s experiences are so vastly different according to race, class, and cis versus trans experience? Rather than a queer transcendence of the term “woman,” trans feminism of the 70s and today teaches that the violent enforcement of womanhood on cis women and the violent prohibition of this identity from male assigned at birth people are the twinned processes that produce the revolutionary collectivity that fights back against misogynist violence.

Humanities Initiative Conference Room
20 Cooper Square, 5th Floor

Feminist Queer Crip

a conversation with Alison Kafer and Sunaura Taylor

February 25, Wednesday
6 to 7:30 pm

Alison Kafer, Feminist Studies, Southwestern University

Sunaura Taylor, New York University

moderator: Mara Mills, Media, Culture & Communication, New York University

Department of Media, Culture, & Communication
239 Greene Street, 8th Floor

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality; Council for the Study of Disability; and Department of Media, Culture, & Communication.

Mosquita y Mari (2012, 85 min., Dir: Aurora Guerrero)

a screening & discussion with Aurora Guerrero

March 5, Thursday
6 to 8 pm

Aurora Guerrero, filmmaker

Emily Cohen, anthropologist & filmmaker

A coming of age story focusing on a tender friendship between two young Chicanas. Film trailer here.

Kimmel Center for University Life
Shorin Performance Studio, Room 802
60 Washington Square South

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality; Department of Anthropology; LGBTQ Student Center;
Program in Asian/Pacific/American Studies; and Program in Latino Studies.

Body Undone: A Salon in Honor of Christina Crosby

a conversation with Christina Crosby, Lisa Cohen, Leigh Gilmore, Laura Grappo, Maggie Nelson, Gayle Pemberton, & Gayle Salamon

March 10, Tuesday
6:30 pm

“Body Undone” focuses on Christina Crosby’s forthcoming memoir of living with disability Body Undone: Living on After Great Pain. In 2003 Professor Crosby broke her neck in a bicycle accident. She writes, “Spinal cord injury has cast me into a surreal neurological wasteland that I traverse day and night. This account is an effort to describe the terrain. I want you to know, and I, myself, want better to understand, a daily venture of living that requires considerable fortitude on my part and a great dependency on others, without whose help my life would be quite literally unlivable.” She grapples directly with the physical deficits of quadriplegia suddenly encountered at age 50 and refuses to look away from the rawness of grief over the loss of her active, athletic life. The book is an exploration of embodiment that reaches back to the author’s childhood as a tomboy in small-town in Pennsylvania, her brother’s life with (and death from) multiple sclerosis, and the feminist and gay liberation movements of the 1970s that were for her thrilling life-affirmations. In the end, queer commitments create life-sustaining possibility, and open to an unknown future, lived in an undone body.

The evening begins with a reading by the author, followed by a discussion with disability studies scholars Gayle Salamon and Leigh Gilmore, writers and memoirists Lisa Cohen, Maggie Nelson and Gayle Pemberton, and queer theorist Laura Grappo. The discussion will consider the significance of Crosby’s narrative and its resistance to the terms of either a victim narrative or a narrative of triumph. Rather, Crosby lives on in a body undone, a life unfinished.

The event is free and open to the public. Venue is wheelchair accessible, sign language interpretation will be provided. Please note that seating for this event is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis–please plan to arrive early!

Barnard College
Broadway & 117th Street
Sulzberger Parlor
3rd Floor Barnard Hall

Co-sponsored by the Barnard Center for Research on Women and the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality.

Here Lies Love: Making Sense of Martial Law in the Philippines

a lecture by Christine Bacareza Balance

March 26, Thursday
6:30 to 8 pm

Christine Balance, Asian American Studies, Culture and Theory, & Women’s Studies, University of California Irvine

In Here Lies Love (2014), an immersive theatrical experience created by musician David Byrne, DJ/producer Fatboy Slim, and theatre director Alex Timbers, former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos’ rags-to-riches tale takes place on a dance floor. With infectious pop tunes performed by a DJ, live band, and sung by an all-Asian American cast, the show asks its audience to move with, while being moved by, it. Placed “in the center of the action,” audience members are directed by ushers, decked in neon-pink jumpsuits, to move in concert with the show’s rotating platforms. The show’s “360-degree scenic and video environment” spans from amateurish and kitschy backdrops to walls of TV screens projecting both the actors’ and audience’s actions, as captured by roving cameras. In these moments, when the show’s stars— Ferdinand Marcos (Jose Lllana) and Imelda Marcos (Ruthie Ann Miles)—descend from their elevated stages, we, the common masses, feel summoned to touch them. If we do, we know that these moves will be broadcast by the installed surveillance system.

Promoted as a theatrical event unable to fit into generic categories bound by time (as Byrne describes on his website, the show is “neither a period piece nor a biography, neither a play nor a traditional musical”), Here Lies Love touts itself as outside of history.  But, is it?  In her presentation, Balance argues that Here Lies Love in fact stages the cultural traces of two very different 1980s: the demise of the Marcoses’ 21-year long martial rule in the Philippines and the burgeoning downtown New York arts scene of Byrne’s early career. Against critiques of Byrne/Slim/Timbers’ theatrical collaboration that question the show’s relationship to history and the merits of the creators’ artistic choices — which are seen by some to reinforce the sensational celebrity power of the Philippines’ former First Lady (and a dictator’s wife) — Balance attends to the theatrical production’s performative aspects. That is, she asks, what does Here Lies Love do and, more specifically, how might it instruct us to move forward with new ways of “making sense” of martial law in Philippine and U.S. histories?

Performance Studies Studio
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

Co-sponsored by the NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute; Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality; and Department of Performance Studies.

The Story of the Lost Watch: The Calypso Craze and the Ontology of Black Fad Performance

a lecture by Shane Vogel

April 7, Tuesday
6:30 to 8 pm

Shane Vogel, English, Indiana University

What does it mean to be a fad? This presentation outlines a historically specific ontology of black fad performance that unfolds within the political economy of race and entertainment between the 1890s and the 1960s. To be a fad is to experience your existence within a circumscribed temporality and to perform your own obsolescence. Within such a horizon of (im)possibility during the long Jim Crow era, the repetition of fad cycles over time trapped performers in cycles of racialized consumption. But it also allowed some fad performances to—only momentarily—coopt this coopted time. In this talk, I look to the gravel-voiced calypso chanteuse Josephine Premice who, at the height of the 1950s calypso craze, allegorized the ontology of black fad performance by explicitly thematizing such opportunities to pilfer the time of the fad for oneself.

Performance Studies Studio
721 Broadway, 6th Floor

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

Somatic Experiments, Clinical Encounters: In the Consulting Room with Testo Junkie

a forum with Kirsten Lentz, Carolyn Stack, & Jamieson Webster, a response by Paul B. Preciado, and moderated by Muriel Dimen

April 17, Friday
5 to 7 pm


Kirsten Lentz, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis, New York University, psychoanalyst in private practice

Carolyn Stack, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, psychoanalyst in private practice

Jamieson Webster, New School, psychoanalyst in private practice

Paul B. Preciado (respondent), CSGS Global Visiting Scholar

Moderator: Muriel Dimen, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis, New York University

This interdisciplinary forum on Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, puts author Paul B. Preciado into conversation with clinicians — Kirsten Lentz, Carolyn Stack, and Jamieson Webster, along with moderator Muriel Dimen — to discuss the range of ways Preciado’s genre-bending account of gendered embodiment both challenges and expands psychoanalytic accounts of gender, desire, and somatic experience.  And vice versa.  This forum continues a multi-year joint initiative between CSGS and the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality to promote open-ended exchanges between cultural theory and psychoanalytic theory.

Lecture Room 102

Co-sponsored by the NYU Center for the Study of Gender & Sexuality and Department of Performance Studies; and by Studies in Gender and Sexuality.

Muriel Dimen, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst, anthropologist, and writer. Most recently, she edited With Culture in Mind. Her Sexuality, Intimacy, Power received the Goethe Award, Canadian Psychological Association. She practices psychoanalysis in Manhattan.

Dr. Kirsten Lentz is an advanced candidate at New York University’s Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She has a PhD from Brown University in the Department of American Civilization where she studied social theory, feminist and queer theory and film. She studied Clinical Social Work at New York University. She treated patients in the Trauma Program at the Karen Horney Clinic before establishing her private practice in New York City in 2007. She is interested in how questions of social and cultural power bear on the clinical situation and on the possibility of psychological change.

Paul B. Preciado is a philosopher, transfeminist activist and of the leading thinkers in the study of gender and sexual politics. He is Head of Research of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA), Director of the Independent Studies Program (PEI) and Visiting Professor in New York University and Princeton University. An Honors Graduate and Fulbright Fellow, he earned a M.A. in Philosophy and Gender Theory at the New School for Social Research in New York where he studied with Agnes Heller and Jacques Derrida. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Theory of Architecture from Princeton University. His first book, Contra-Sexual Manifesto (forthcoming by Columbia University Press in 2015) was acclaimed by French critics as “the red book of queer theory” and translated into five languages. He is the author of Testo Junkie. Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics (The Feminist Press) and Pornotopia (Zone Books) for which she was finalist of the Anagrama Price in Spain and was awarded the Sade Price in France. He has directed numerous projects with artist, activists and thinkers with the aim to develop and explore the field of activism emerging out the mobilization against biopolitical management of the body, sex, gender and race within contemporary capitalism. Some of these projects are: Rhetorics of gender/Politics of Identity (BNV, UNIA, 2003), Postporn Marathon (MACBA, 2004), PornPunkFeminism (Arteleku, 2008), Art after Feminism (MACBA, 2008), IM/MUNE (Emmetrop, 2011), Cuir International (MNCARS, 2011), Gender Lab (Emmetrop, 2012), The Beast and The Sovereign (MACBA, 2015).

Carolyn Stack is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in private practice in Cambridge, MA. She is a co-editor of Bringing the Plague: Toward a Postmodern Psychoanalysis with S. Fairfield & L. Layton. (2002). She has published in Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Gender and Psychoanalysis: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Dr. Stack is on the faculty at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis where she is also a training analyst and supervisor.

Jamieson Webster is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. Her books include The Life and Death of Psychoanalysis (Karnac Books, 2011) and Stay, Illusion! The Hamlet Doctrine (with Simon Critchley; Pantheon, 2013). She has written for the Guardian, the New York Times, Playboy, and the Times Literary Supplement, as well as contributing clinical and theoretical articles to many psychoanalytic publications.