What Queer Theory Knows About the Couple

An Open Seminar from the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

  • Wed 9 Dec 20

    17:00 - 18:30

  • Online

  • Event speaker

    S. Pearl Brilmyer, University of Pennsylvania and Filippo Trentin, University of Pennsylvania

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Dr Leonardo Niro

Join us for this fascinating talk on the impact that psychoanalysis has had on queer studies, with S. Pearl Brilmyer and Filippo Trentin


This talk draws from recent work on a special issue for GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies entitled "The Ontology of the Couple." This special issue featured work by Heather Love, Lee Edelman, and Annamarie Jagose, among others, and addressed the increasingly central role of the couple form in queer life. The talk will draw from our contribution to the issue -- a short history of what feminist and queer theory have told us about the couple from French feminist critiques of the asymmetrical heterosexual relationships to triadic accounts of the queer as couple’s sexual and racialized Other. Throughout the talk we will pay particular attention to the impact that psychoanalysis, particularly Lacan, has had on queer studies, and gesture toward what the thinking of Lou Andreas-Salome might have to offer the field.

The Speakers

S. Pearl Brilmyer is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses on nineteenth-century English literature, the history & philosophy of science, & queer theory. She recieved her PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. She is the author of The Science of Character: Human Objecthood and the Ends of Victorian Realism (forthcoming 2021 from the University of Chicago Press) as well as articles on George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Darwin, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, among other nineteenth-century thinkers.

Filippo Trentin teaches courses in Italian culture and film studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Warwick in 2014, and since then he held academic positions in Germany and the USA. His research lies at the intersection of 20th-century Italian literature and cinema, queer studies and film theory, and has published articles on authors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini and Walter Benjamin. He is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled Rome and the Margins of Modernism. And with S. Pearl Brilmyer and Zairong Xiang, he is the editor of “The Ontology of the Couple,” a special issue of GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, from which he and Pearl will speak.

Register Your Place 

Entry is free and open to all but please register your place.


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