APA Eastern Call for Papers: Trans Erotics

The Society for the Philosophy of Sex and Love invites papers that explore trans erotics for the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting in Philadelphia, January 8-11 2020.

In his 2011 poem, “How to Make Love to a Trans Person“, Gabe Moses provides an evocative description of coding, learning, loving, and pleasuring that challenge pre-existing notions of arousal, attraction, and being with through an account of the body.

Bodies have been learning each other forever.
It’s what bodies do.
But we could never forget how to use our hearts
Even if we tried.
That’s the important part.
Don’t worry about the bodies.
They’ve got this.

In her 2014 essay “When Selves Have Sex: What the Phenomenology of Trans Sexuality Can Teach About Sexual Orientation” Dr. Bettcher offers an account “erotic structuralism”.  This account makes the case for an “eroticized self” within an “interactional account” of desire and distinguishes between attraction and arousal.  For Bettcher, a consequence of this is a “blurring” of the gender identity / sexual orientation distinction for there is a “core gender-inflected erotic self in addition to a persistent attraction to a type of gendered persons” (618).  Bodies figure it out in space and time with other bodies.

Both thinkers present both different modes of exploring trans erotics and accounts of being with others in erotic encounters.  At times in tension with each other, these accounts invite us to seriously, ethically, generously, and lovingly trouble binaries of bodies, pleasures, intimacies, and notions of the self.

SPSL takes quite seriously Dr. Bettcher’s reminder to us that “we’re talking about people—people who are in the room, people trying (and succeeding) to philosophize themselves” not things.  And so we invite papers that carefully and care-fully take up trans erotics.

We invite submissions that include but are not limited to papers that:

  • Engage with the ethics described in Moses’ poem.
    • What ethical preconditions—or responsibility to ourselves and others (and ourselves with others)—might be required in the recoding that Moses offers?
  • Take up the claims made in Dr. Bettcher’s essay
    • Do we have a “core gender-inflected erotic self”?
    • Is Bettcher using a Lordean account of the erotic in her piece?
  • Discuss the relationship (either tensions, commonalities, or both) between the erotics of other precaritized bodies.

We specifically invite work from trans thinkers (particularly trans people of colour).

Papers should be no more than 3000 words long.
Full paper submissions should be sent to: jordan.pascoe@manhattan.edu; Deadline August 2, 2019.

For more information on the APA Eastern, visit: https://www.apaonline.org/event/2020eastern

APA Eastern Call for Proposals: Teaching Philosophy of Love and Sex

Teaching Philosophy of Love and Sex (APA Eastern)

The Society for The Philosophy of Sex and Love is soliciting proposals for a panel/working session on teaching the philosophy of sex and love at the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting in Philadelphia, January 8-11 2020.

We invite papers and proposals that engage with the pedagogies of the philosophy of sex and love, from papers taking up pedagogical problems in teaching the philosophy of sex, to presentations of innovative approaches to teaching philosophy of sex and love. We particularly encourage proposals that:

  • Explore teaching the philosophy of sex and love in an intersectional, inclusive key
  • Engage the philosophy of sex and love beyond the classroom, or encourage institutional transformations around normative sex and heterosex
  • Offer philosophical engagements with sex and healthy relationship education

Proposals should be no more than 500 words.

Submissions should be sent to: jordan.pascoe@manhattan.edu; Deadline August 2, 2019.

For more information on the APA Eastern, visit https://www.apaonline.org/event/2020eastern


CFP: Psychoanalysis and Sexual Violence

Psychoanalysis and Sexual Violence
Penumbr(a): A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Modernity. No. 1
Call for Papers

Thanks to the collective reckoning of the #MeToo movement, together with revelations of the scope of child sexual abuse within the Catholic church, it is now a matter of public record that sexual violence is not and probably has never been an isolated occurrence but rather is a systematic feature of modern society, regardless of the ideals that orient social justice movements and the political institutions that lay claim to their legacy. This should not come as a surprise, of course. For decades, feminist scholars have argued that the social bond is founded on the open secret of sexual violence. And for well over one hundred years now, psychoanalysis has recalled that the social and psychic life of the subject ultimately pivots on a refractory kernel that often manifests itself in acts rather than words. Precisely because of its unrelenting attention to subjective history, however, psychoanalysis has often been accused of discounting the veracity of victim testimony, reducing reality to fantasy, and promoting private rather than public speech. Freud’s abandonment of the seduction theory, many have argued and continue to argue, doomed psychoanalysis to underestimate—if not actively cover up—the prevalence and importance of sexual violence in society. In the notorious letter to Wilhelm Fliess in which Freud informs his friend that “I no longer believe in my neurotica,” because “in all cases the father, not excluding my own, had to be accused of being perverse,” and that “such widespread perversions against children are not very probable.” It seems probable, especially today, that Freud didn’t adequately recognize the prevalence of sexual violence in society. And yet, is this the end of the story? Is this all there is to say about psychoanalysis? If psychoanalysis is not all about sexual violence, is it precluded from contributing anything to the still inchoate discussion of sexual violence in society and politics?

The most affirmative dimension of #MeToo is the refusal to keep silent any longer, the simple assertion that sexual violence, the act itself, will not have been the end of the story; that history is not written by the perpetrators. But the most affirmative dimension of psychoanalysis, too, is the refusal to believe that sexual violence is the end of the story—the end of the subject’s story and the end of the story for psychoanalysis itself; the refusal to allow the very reality sexual violence to become an alibi that makes it possible to avoid talking about other, perhaps more unspeakable things, and that blocks the freedom of speech and association. Is it possible to write the history of sexual violence or even to do justice to the experience of victims if the act of breaking the silence impedes speech on another level? Is it possible to understand or even condemn sexual violence without grasping all the histories that such violence prevents from being written? Is it possible to write the history of sexual violence, today, without the unwritten and untimely histories to which psychoanalytic speech gives access?

Papers might address such topics as: the clinic of sexual violence, sexual violence and femininity, democracy and patriarchy, forensic psychoanalysis, the ethics and politics of testimony, truth and reconciliation, public speech and analytic speech, shame, sexual violence and institutions (school, church, army, university), sexual violence and psychic structures (neurosis, perversion, psychosis), passages-à-l’acte, the logic of fantasy, repetition compulsions, the symbolic order and legacies of silence, sexual violence and war, sexual violence in queer communities, sexual violence and the brain, empirical and transcendental violences, archives of sexual violence, the aesthetics of #metoo, hashtags and politics.

Penumbr(a): A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Modernity is the new journal of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis & Culture at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). For our inaugural issue, we invite essays of 6000-8000 words that explore how the theory and practice of psychoanalysis contends with the experience of sexual violence on an individual or social and political level. We also welcome reviews of recent publications in psychoanalytic studies and related fields of up to 2000 words. Please send submissions as an email attachment to slm26@buffalo.edu no later than May 1, 2019.