A Reading and Conversation of Gender Without Identity
Saturday, Apr 6 2024, 6:30pm - 8:00pm EDT. copy to my calendar, iCal export
Little District Books 737 8th St SE, Washington, MD 20003, United States (map)

Gender Without Identity offers an innovative and at times unsettling theory of gender formation. Rooted in the metapsychology of Jean Laplanche and in conversation with bold work in queer and trans studies, Avgi Saketopoulou and Ann Pellegrini jettison "core gender identity" to propose, instead, that gender is something all subjects acquire -- and that trauma sometimes has a share in that acquisition. Conceptualizing trauma alongside diverse genders and sexualities is thus not about invalidating transness and queerness, but about illuminating their textures to enable their flourishing.

Written for readers both in and outside psychoanalysis, Gender Without Identity argues for the ethical urgency of recognizing that wounding experiences and traumatic legacies may be spun into gender. Such "spinning" involves self-theorizations that do not proceed from a centered self, but are nevertheless critical to psychic autonomy. Saketopoulou and Pellegrini draw on these ideas to offer clinical resources for working with gender complexity and for complexifying (what is seen as) gender normativity.

Dr. Ann Pellegrini is a Professor of Performance Studies & Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, and a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City. They are the author/co-author of Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race; Love and Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance; You Can Tell Just By Looking; 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People; and Gender Without Identity. She and Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou are the receipients of the first Tiresias Paper Award, from IPA’s sexual and Gender Diversity Studies Committee for their co-written essay “A Feminine Boy: Normative investments and Reparative fantasy at the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Religion.”

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou is an immigrant Cypriot and Greek psychoanalyst, living and working in NYC. She is on faculty at the NYU Postdoctoral Program, where she also trained, and teaches nationally in several psychoanalytic institutes. Her published work has received numerous prizes, including the annual JAPA Essay Prize and the Ralph Roughton Award. She is the 2022 recipient of the Scholarship Award from the division of psychoanalysis of the American Psychological Association (Div. 39) and, with Ann Pellegrini, the recipient of the first Tiresias Essay Prize, from the International Psychoanalytic Associations’ committee on sexual and gender diversity. Her interview on relational psychoanalysis is part of the permanent collection of the Freud Museum in Vienna and in 2021 she co-chaired the first US-based conference dedicated to the work of Jean Laplanche. Her book, Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia, is forthcoming in February 2023 from the Sexual Cultures series, NYU Press. When she is not working, she rides her motorcycle, hoping for good weather.