There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
-Zora Neale Hurston
Friday, November 3, 2017
Engendering Desire: Towards a Rearticulation of Gender and Sexuality
Francisco J. González, MD
Late 20th century gender theory made enormous gains through a deconstructive move that denaturalized essentialist premises on the relationship between sex and gender. At its most fundamentalist, essentialism held to a rigid axial alignment between unambiguous and dichotomized anatomical sex, concordant “core gender” identity, normative gender behavior repertoires, and (hetero)sexual “orientation.” Gender theory — particularly in its queer iterations— disarticulated these alignments. Freed from heterosexist domestication, gender (and its study) flourished.
But perhaps something was also lost, or at least obscured, as the focus on gender as an embattled site of psycho-social regulation eclipsed the quintessential subject of psychoanalysis: sexuality. This presentation attempts to bring sexuality back to the fore, as a vital force in the construction of gender. The presentation draws from various threads, including clinical material (especially in the countertransference) and recent psychoanalytic writings on trans embodiment. It particularly highlights the diaries of Lou Sullivan (1951-1991), a pioneer activist whose sexuality was a primary motivator in his formation as a transman.
Francisco J. González, MD, is a Personal and Supervising Analyst and Faculty at Psychoanalytic Institute of Northern California. His writing often focuses on the social link in psychoanalysis and covers a wide range of themes, including unrepresented mental states, sexualities and gender, film, and immigration. His most recent work includes the chapter, “All Origins are Suspect,” in the forthcoming edited volume from Routledge entitled Becoming a Psychoanalyst: Fifteen Stories on Finding One’s Analytic Voice and his paper “Writing Gender with Sexuality: Reflections on the Diaries of Lou Sullivan,” which won the 2017 Ralph Roughton Award from the American Psychoanalytic Association. He is in private practice in San Francisco and Oakland.
NYU Kimmel Center 60 Washington Square South at La Guardia Place
Continuing Education Units: 2 contact hours.
Cost: $40. Click here to register and pay.
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