Carolyn Dinshaw and Marget Long lecture (audio recordings available)

On October 12, 2015 Professor Carolyn Dinshaw and artist Marget Long gave an amazing collaborative, multi-media presentation, in which they looked to the geo-physical phenomenon of the mirage to explore the broad concepts of location and locatability–and to imagine what might escape ever-present and increasingly monetized location services. The talk investigated the mirage’s visual and cultural history through a wide array of materials: medieval maps and legends, early 20th-century Arctic expeditions, and photographs and video from Long’s project on mirages.


The audio for this presentation is available here and here to download to play on iTunes (the talk was interrupted by a fire alarm so the recording is in two parts).

Jigna Desai’s lecture (audio recording available)

On May 5, 2015 Professor Jigna Desai gave an impressive talk entitled “Queering Neural Citizenship: Lessons from Autism and Neurodiversity.” A recording of her talk is available here to download to iTunes.


Director Mel Chen introducing Professor Jigna Desai

Jodi Byrd’s Lecture (audio recording available)


Professor Jodi Byrd

On April 14, 2015 Professor Jodi Byrd gave a powerful lecture for the CSSC, in which she offered a close-reading of  Assassin’s Creed 3 and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, in order to consider how American Indian and Indigenous studies might intersect with videogame studies, especially at the sites of narrative, racial representations, and history. Her talk is available here to download to iTunes.

Kyla Schuller’s Talk (audio recording available)

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Professor Kyla Schuller gave a stunning lecture on the notion of the human nervous system as an impressible, malleable entity continuously remade by contact with its environment, a concept that lies at the heart of nineteenth-century U.S. cultural politics. Theorizing “impressibility” as a nineteenth-century keyword linking race and sexuality, the talk explored how scientists, reformers, and writers alike saw themselves as working in concert with a neurobiological substrate that they conceived of as, in its ideal form, fluid, malleable, and forever in dynamic exchange with surrounding bodies, objects, and forces.


To listen to her talk, please download the sound file here to listen on iTunes.

Bailey Kier’s Lecture (audio recording available)


On February 7, Bailey Kier gave an exciting lecture in which he asked us to consider the vital ways queering and trans-ing ideas and practices of agriculture are necessary for more sustainable, sovereign, and equitable food systems for the creatures and systems involved in systemic reproductions that feed humans and other creatures.




To listen to Bailey’s talk, please download MP3 file

or stream below:

Regina Kunzel’s Lecture

On January 23, Professor Regina Kunzel from Princeton University delivered a scintillating lecture to a diverse audience. The talk, “In Treatment: Psychiatry and the Archives of Modern Sexuality,” discussed the encounter of sexual- and gender-variant people with psychiatry and psychoanalysis in mid-twentieth-century America and examined the role of psychiatric scrutiny and stigma in the making of modern sexuality.

The event was sponsored by the LGBTQ Cluster of HIFIS and Center for the Study of Sexual Culture.

(No audio recording is available for this talk).IMG_3810 copy

Announcing the CSSC 2014-15 Speaker Series
































The CSSC announces the full lineup for its 2014-15 Speaker Series! Audio from the first lecture on Nov. 4, “A Lesbian History of the Sonnet,” by Lisa Moore (English / Women’s & Gender Studies, Univ. of Texas, Austin), will be posted in News shortly. The next event is the symposium “Feminist Translations/Queer Mobilities” on Dec. 8. See event posting for more information. More details for future events in the Speaker Series will be posted on the Events page as they become available.

CSSC kicks off Fall 2014 speaker events with Zohar Weiman-Kelman & Yiddish Sexology (audio recording available)

1 zohar_podium_smallThe CSSC kicked off its Fall 2014 lineup of lectures on Oct. 27 with a lively presentation on “Archives, Bedrooms, and the Future of Yiddish” by Zohar Weiman-Kelman, currently an Anne Tanenbaum Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. The event was co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies and the Department of Comparative Literature.

Weiman-Kelman presented before a packed audience that included Weiman-Kelman’s former colleagues from the Dept. of Comparative Literature where she completed her PhD in 2012, as well as dissertation advisers Professors Judith Butler (Comparative Literature & Rhetoric), Chana Kronfeld (Comparative Literature & Near Eastern Studies), and Naomi Seidman of the Graduate Theological Union. The young scholar enlightened and entertained listeners with insights from her ongoing research that brings together multiple archives on Yiddish sexuality, in a performance that Judith Butler described in the Q & A as very funny and with “maybe a little bit of Yiddish theater in the talk itself.”

Weiman-Kelman’s lecture focused mainly on the work of two Yiddish linguists, Max Weinreich (1894-1969) and Mordkhe Schaechter (1927-2007), who both dedicated particular attention to the question of Jewish sexuality in Yiddish. She also touched upon the work of  Dr. Leonard Landes and his sexology manual in Yiddish, Zind Gegen di Natur (Sins Against Nature, 1910). You can find the talk abstract and speaker bio at the original event listing. An audio recording of the talk appears below and can be accessed on the CSSC SoundCloud channel.


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Original CSSC co-founder Professor Judith Butler poses some questions and an inspired challenge.


The recording begins just after the start of the talk, so here is the first sentence:

“My talk today will bring together multiple projects of Yiddish sexuality from across the twentieth century, taking early steps in exploring the potential of a queer Yiddish archive situated at the confluence between sexual expression and the development, and decline, of the Yiddish language.  I am broadly thinking about a project that queerly denaturalizes both language and sexuality by examining their mutual construction . . .”



New CSSC website

Center for the Study of Sexual Culture, U.C. BerkeleyThe CSSC is pleased to launch its brand new website! After a hiatus, the Center has been reopened under new Director Mel Chen, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies. The Fall 2013—Spring 2014 year was spent largely reorganizing and rebuilding the Center’s programs, and this upcoming Fall 2014—Spring 2015 year will offer a full schedule of CSSC-sponsored events, including our monthly Speaker Series, co-sponsorships of a variety of conferences, symposia, and screenings, and meetings of the CSSC-sponsored Queer of Color Working Group. Check our Events page for an up-to-date calendar. Special thanks to our web designers Stefan Gutermuth and Colin Frangos, and to Toronto artist Elisha Lim, who provided the illustrations.