Yasmin Roberts Memorial Lecture: Queer Arts of Analysis

Austen Riggs Center

25 Main St
StockbridgeMassachusetts 01262
April 26, 2019 at 6:30 PM

Friday Night Guest Lecture

Ann Pellegrini, PhD, is professor of performance studies and social and cultural analysis at New York University. Her books include: Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race (Routledge, 1997); Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance, coauthored with Janet R. Jakobsen (NYU Press, 2003; Beacon Press, 2004); and “You Can Tell Just By Looking” and 20 Other Myths about LGBT Life and People, coauthored with Michael Bronski and Michael Amico (Beacon Press, 2013). Her articles have appeared in such journals as American ImagoPsychoanalytic PsychologyStudies in Gender and SexualitySocial Text, and Women & Performance. She was the Fulbright- Freud Visiting Lecturer of Psychoanalysis at the Sigmund Freud Museum-Vienna and the University of Vienna in 2007, and is currently a candidate in adult psychoanalysis at the Institute for Training and Research in New York City.

Lecture Description:

Psychoanalysis, as theory and practice, has got theatre deep in its bones.  Put another way: if, as Freud famously wrote “dreams are the royal road to . . . the unconscious,” that road passes through the theatre district.  Freud’s and psychoanalysis’s indebtedness to theatre goes far beyond the plays that Freud cites—and he does so frequently.  Theatre and performance more broadly also provide rich metaphors for describing mechanisms of psychic life.  In Interpretation of Dreams, for example, he likens hysterics to downtown performance artists before the name, who “act all the parts in a play single-handed.”  This is hysteria as a kind of pathological—because hyper theatricalized?—identification with others.  Psychoanalysis leans on theatre for some of its key concepts: catharsis, identification, enactment, repetition compulsion, and, of course, Oedipus.  Further, psychoanalysis is itself thinkable as a kind of performance art that makes use of the embodied co-presence of at least two persons in the same space to do its work.  But these borrowings go both ways: theatre and performance art also create a "field" that has features in common with the space of psychoanalysis and that aim at transformation. This lecture draws on the speaker’s own interested position as a scholar of performance studies and queer theory who is also an analytic candidate to discuss queer points of contact between psychoanalysis and performance, illuminating her discussion with examples from contemporary performance art.  This is more than argument by analogy.  What are the implications for clinical work of taking psychoanalysis seriously as a performance practice that re-stages not just the past – via the “playground” of transference, say – but also improvises possibilities for futures yet to come?

This presentation is designed for mental health professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, with no regular registration fee. View the entire schedule for the 2018-19 Friday Night Guest Lecture Series.


The Austen Riggs Center designates this live activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category1 Credit(s)

The Austen Riggs Center also designates this live activity for 1.00 continuing education credit(s) (CE) for psychology and social work.

The Austen Riggs Center, #1344, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Austen Riggs Center maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 02/02/2017-02/02/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 1.0 continuing education clock hours. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.

For a listing of jurisdictions that accept ACE, please visit www.aswb.org/ace/ace-jurisdiction-map/.

Complete Continuing Education Statement

No registration required. For more information contact Kathleen Young at 413.931.5230. 

In the event of a cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances, a notice will be posted here no later than 3:00 p.m. on the day of the event. 

1.5 Hours