Northwestern Events Calendar


Keyword: Pleasure

When: Tuesday, May 14, 2019
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM CT

Where: University Hall, Hagstrum Room (201), 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Eliot Colin   (847) 491-5871

Group: Gender & Sexuality Studies Program

Category: Lectures & Meetings


A panel of Northwestern scholars, educators and activists will discuss the charged and contested meanings of “pleasure” in the academy and beyond. Based on his research on sexuality in Mexico and with Mexican immigrants, Héctor Carrillo (GSS, Sociology) will address the cultural specificity and circulating discourses of sexual pleasure. He will zoom into the notion of “Latino passion,” which is often used by his participants to simultaneously discuss cultural stereotypes and sources of cultural and community pride. Julian Glover (African American Studies) will address the keyword from the perspective of what it means to pursue pleasure as a black queer/transgender/gender nonconforming person under the constant threat of socioeconomic, political and cultural annihilation. He will draw on both his work with black transgender women who engage in sex work and his own experience. Anna Michelson (Sociology) will discuss how romance novels relate to pleasure on multiple levels: pleasure in the content (emotional or sexual arousal), pleasure in a predictable formula, pleasure in the acts of writing and reading, and, increasingly, “political pleasure” as more and more romances affirm feminist and progressive politics. Jennifer Nash (GSS, African American Studies) will speak about (and interrogate) the Left political pleasures that terms like intersectionality generate for feminist scholars in the US university. Deborah Tuerkheimer (Pritzker School of Law) will provide a brief overview of how feminist legal theorists have approached the subject of pleasure generally before turning to her own work on affirmative consent and its relationship to wanted/unwanted sex. She will end with thoughts about how the #MeToo movement intersects with this conversation.

This Keyword Series is organized in collaboration with One Book One Northwestern, whose featured book in 2018-19 is Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

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