Book presentation and discussion with Avgi Saketopoulou and Ann Pellegrini
Thursday, January 18, 2024, at 19 h
Library of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum
Registration required: To attend, please register below.
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.
Avgi Saketopoulou (she/her) trained as clinical psychologist in New York after emigrating from Greece and Cyprus, and subsequently completed training as a psychoanalyst at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she currently teaches. She also serves on the faculty of the William Alanson White Institute, the Stephen Mitchell Relational Center, and the National Institute for Psychotherapies, where she offers courses on psychosexuality and gender. Her interview on psychoanalysis is on the collection of the Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna and she is the 2022 recipient of the Scholarship Award from the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Saketopoulou is also the author of Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia (NYU Press, 2023).
Ann Pellegrini (they/them; she/her) is Professor of Performance Studies & Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, teaching classes on queer theory and psychoanalysis, among other topics, as well as a psychoanalyst in private practice. They are the author/co-author of three previous books, including You Can Tell Just by Looking and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People, co-authored with Michael Bronski and Michael Amico (Beacon Press, 2013), which was a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Best LGBT Non-Fiction. Dr. Pellegrini has also co-edited two anthologies and is founding co-editor of the Sexual Cultures series at NYU Press.