Sex or the Unbearable

Que(e)rying Theory #2 “Sex, or the Unbearable” by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman

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Que(e)rying Theory #2 “Sex, or the Unbearable” by Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman
January 18, 2015 6:00 PM
January 18, 2015 9:00 PM
646 457 0859
December 12, 2014
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
646 457 0859
Google Map
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Sex or the Unbearable


Que(e)rying Theory is a discussion group about queer theory and critical theory for thinkers from all contexts. Reading texts both vintage and new, we will ask questions such as: What is queerness? What do queer politics look like? How do we find the tools for living in a precarious world? And finally, what can theory mean in our own lives? In dialogue with one another, we will fearlessly relish in the complexities of theory, and collectively work towards richer understandings of our past, present, and future. Discussions will be moderated by Connor Spencer, and for a small donation, wine, beer, and sparkling water will be available to help lubricate our conversations.


How does negativity structure our politics, thinking, and relationships? Is it an affect that we can live with? In Sex, or the Unbearable, queer scholars Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman consider the “unbearable” desires attache to sex, the social, and relationality. Through readings of film, art, theory, and literature–including Lydia Davis’s story “Break It Down”–the two thinkers trace wildly divergent paths through thorny fields of inquiry. Featuring two eminent scholars in conversation, the book is a glimpse into cutting-edge conversations in queer theory, and a perfect read for the busy holiday season.


Our conversation will first touch on the previous work of these notoriously dense scholars, and then strive towards unpacking the core arguments of the text. Come with questions, thoughts, and ideas–even if you didn’t have a chance to finish the entire book!
Connor Spencer is a writer living in New York City. He graduated with a BA in English from New York University, where he conducted bi-coastal archival research on the artists David Wojnarowicz and Gary Fisher. Recently, he was a finalist for the Marshall Scholarship. Connor tweets about leftism, queer politics, and dog costumes @conneriks.