March 6, 2008 – Joan Copjec: “Iran, Close-Up: The View from Kiarostami”


Iran, Close-Up: The View from Kiarostami
Thursday, March 6 / 4 PM / Humanities 210

Shame was the torture of choice at Abu Ghraib because Washington neo-cons believed the Islamic system of modesty made Muslims more susceptible to shame. Joan Copjec examines the modesty system through its impact on Iranian cinema generally, and the films of Abbas Kiarostami specifically, in an attempt to define shame in psychoanalytic and cinematic terms. Ultimately she aims to intervene in the debate about the veiling of Muslim women in a way that avoids many of the traps into which it has so far fallen.

Sex is Difference
Friday, March 7 / 10 AM – 12 PM / Humanities 210

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Download a copy of seminar reading #2

“Sex is Difference” will try to take a fresh look at sex and sexual difference. While a lot has been said on these subjects, the point of departure for this seminar will be that sex is a much more difficult notion than critics have assumed. While Freud was often criticized for his “pan-sexualism,” this charge strikes at the wrong target insofar as it takes sex as the answer to everything. No, sex is the problem, and it cannot be found anywhere, or: it is totally without country.

Joan Copjec is Distinguished Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Media Study and Director of the Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Culture at the University at Buffalo, NY. She is the author ofImagine There’s No Woman (MIT, 2002) and Read My Desire (MIT, 1994) and the editor of six volumes published by Verso, including Jacques Lacan’s TelevisionShades of Noir, Radical Evil, and The Politics of Propinquity. A former editor of October, she also edited a series for Verso for a time, the S series. Her books have been translated into Japanese, German, and Spanish, and are currently being translated into Korean and Turkish.

Co-sponsored by The Psychoanalysis and Sexuality Research Unit of the Institute for Humanities Research.