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Lauren Berlant: Sex, or the Unbearable — a faculty-graduate student seminar

May 7, 2014 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm  |  Stevenson Fireside Lounge


Lauren Berlant 5.7.14 poster FINAL

Sex, or the Unbearable (Duke University Press, 2013) is a dialogue between Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, two leading theorists of sexuality, politics and culture. In juxtaposing sex and the unbearable they don’t propose that sex is unbearable, but that it unleashes unbearable contradictions, which we nonetheless struggle to bear. Through interpretations of works of cinema, photography, critical theory, and literature, Berlant and Edelman explore what it means to live with negativity, with those divisions that may be irreparable. Together, they consider how such negativity affects politics, theory and intimately felt encounters.

Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Cruel Optimism, The Female Complaint, and The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, all also published by Duke University Press.

Lee Edelman is Fletcher Professor of English Literature at Tufts University. He is the author of L’impossible Homosexuel; No Future, also published by Duke University Press; and Homographesis.

The book is available at the Literary Guillotine, on the DUP web site, as an e-book and for download at

The seminar aspires for people to have read the entire (short!) book but welcomes readers of the introduction, chapter 3 and the afterword. For more information please contact Carla Freccero, and Deborah Gould,

Co-sponsored by Oakes College and the Center for Cultural Studies. Staff support provided by the Institute for Humanities Research.


May 7, 2014
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


Stevenson Fireside Lounge
Humanites 1 University of California, Santa Cruz Cowell College
Santa Cruz, CA 95064 United States
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