Juana María Rodríguez Lecture

"Pornographic Pleasures and the Limits of Knowing"

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lecture 5:30PM

Rochambeau House, Music Room

This paper considers problematic pleasures, those moments recorded in the sexual archive where violence and ecstasy seem most intertwined. Using the biography, Vanessa del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior, as the primary text, I consider how racialized gender and class inform what speaking subjects might understand as extravagant or quotidian forms of abjection, and how readers grapple with forms of meaning-making. My talk will consider those moments when the reader or the viewer encounters the limits of their own understandings of pleasure, trauma, violence, or desire in her attempt to make meaning out of the experiences of another. In the process, this paper considers how images and text function as complicated triggers for the attachments, identifications, desires, and traumas of our own corporeal embodiments and sexual histories. 

Juana María Rodríguez is Professor in the Gender and Women's Studies Department at UC Berkeley, where she is also affiliated faculty with the Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies; the Berkeley Center for New Media; the Center for Race and Gender; and the Center for the Study of Sexual Cultures. Professor Rodríguez is the author of two books, Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces (NYU 2003) and Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures and Other Latina Longings (NYU 2014) and has published numerous articles related to her research interests in sexuality studies, queer activism in a transnational American context, critical race theory, technology and media arts, and [email protected] and Caribbean studies.