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Legal scholar Christopher Stone wrote that humor often functions in culture as a way of dealing with 'social growing pains.' In this context, jokes about rape become a form of testimony to the anxiety and defensive reaction of the privileged to being asked to acknowledge the basic foundational legitimacy of the call for equal rights. A special section of a forthcoming issue of Studies in Gender and Sexuality will be devoted to considering these jokes and their psychic action, which can induce a reluctant, guilty semi-laugh, sometimes even from women. Virginia and Katie have each contributed to this issue and, at this presentation, they will discuss rape jokes and their cultural and psychodynamic action. Prepared to be unsettled.
Virginia Goldner, Ph.D. is the Founding Editor of Studies in Gender and Sexuality. She is an Associate Editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues, a Founding Board Member of IARPP, and the author and editor of numerous books and papers. She is completing a book of her major essays on gender and relationality, which will also include newly published material, to be released in 2017.
Katie Gentile, Ph.D. is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of the Gender Studies Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). She is the author of Creating bodies: Eating disorders as self-destructive survival and The Business of being made: The temporalities of reproductive technologies, in psychoanalysis and cultures, both from Routledge. She is the editor of the Routledge book series Genders & Sexualities in Minds & Culture and a co-editor of the journal Studies in Gender and Sexuality.