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LGBTQ Study Group - Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou "Risking sexuality beyond consent"

Date: Jul 1, 2020 8:30 pm

The LGBTQ STUDY GROUP of the William Alanson White Institute is meeting on ZOOM.

Presenter:  Avgi Saketopoulou, Ph.D.

Risking sexuality beyond consent; overwhelm and the suffering of pleasure in Jeremy O. Harris' Slave Play

Wed. July 1st, 2020

8:30 - 10:00 pm

Via Zoom Only

*Please register through the link below to receive the Zoom link.



What awaits sexuality that pushes beyond the safe confines of affirmative consent? Why would anyone want to explore that territory, and why should we, as analysts, care? In this presentation, I will discuss work in progress that probes overwhelm, limit consent, and their relationship to sexuality and to trauma. Using ideas from Laplanche, Aulagnier, and Foucault (that I will introduce-no prior experience with these authors required!), I explore how the sexual may annex traumatic history, spinning trauma's drivenness to repetition into traumatisms that can incite psychic work. This amounts to a switch from thinking analytically about trauma to thinking about what subjects do with trauma and, for that, we will turn to Jeremy O Harris's searingly beautiful work, Slave Play. This provocative play takes up consent at its most vexed site: the especially strained intersection of sexuality with the antebellum past. And it incites in its own right psychoanalysis to take our theoretical work further.



Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou trained at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she now also teaches. She serves on the faculties of several psychoanalytic institutes including the William Allanson White Institute, and, also, the New York Psychoanalytic Institute, the Stephen Mitchell Relational Center and the National Institute for the Psychotherapies in NYC, where she teaches courses on psychosexuality, polymorphous perversity and gender.


On the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic DialoguesThe Psychoanalytic Quarterly, and Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Avgi has received several prizes for her written work -including the annual essay prize from the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Ruth Stein prize from NYU Postdoc, the Ralph Roughton award from the Committee on Gender and Sexuality of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Symonds essay prize from Studies in Gender and Sexuality. Her interests include psychosexuality and polymorphous perversity, the psychic constitution of gender, and the enigmatics of consent. She is currently at work on a book manuscript provisionally titled: “Overwhelm: Risking Sexuality Beyond Consent.”


For inquiries regarding the LGBTQ Study Group please contact

Esin Egit, Ph.D. (Chair):