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Gender and Politics: Joan W. Scott


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Joan W. Scott Professor Emerita, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton will be receiving an honorary degree and presenting a lecture titled “Gender & Politics” on Thursday, 12th April, 2018.

In her talk Professor Scott uses psychoanalytic teaching about the impossibility of establishing a fixed meaning for differences of sex to theorize a comment she made 30 years ago: “gender constructs politics and politics constructs gender.” She argues that contrary to criticisms often made of it (a criticism she made herself in 1986) psychoanalysis lets us historicize gender. From this perspective, gender does not base its ascription of social roles on the imperatives of physical bodies; rather it is a historically and culturally variable attempt to provide a grid of intelligibility for sex, and—beyond sex—for the intelligibility of systems of political rule

The lecture will be followed by a short reception that everyone is welcome to attend. Free.