Composting #15: Sex in Public

February 14 4-5:30 | Facilitated by Jen Hamilton | Readings: Lauren Berlant & Michael Warner (1998) “Sex in Public” and Sarah Ensor (2017) “Queer Fallout: Samuel Delany and the Ecology of Cruising”

We’ve chosen February 14 to queer our relation with the more-than-human, by revisiting Berlant and Warner’s classic essay “Sex in Public”, and reading it alongside Sarah Ensor’s “composted” essay, forthcoming in Environmental Humanities, “Queer Fallout: Samuel Delany and the Ecology of Cruising”. As lead composter for the session, I (Jen Hamilton) have chosen these texts as a way to queer my own understanding of the relations between shelter and exposure, indoors and outdoors, public and private in an environmental humanities context, but there is much broader potential to play with the links between desire, economics, identity politics, law and its intersection with the more-than-human in a range of ways. There is also definitely scope within this theme to develop our thinking on the ecosex movement and for a discussion on Donna Haraway’s latest slogan “Make Kin not Babies” as well. Don’t come for thelowdown on vegan condoms and paraben free lube (Gwenyth Paltrow has got you covered there), but rather for the romantic chocolate treats and rigorous thinking. Happy Valentine’s Day!

LOCATION: Brennan McCallum building, Level 8, SOPHI Common Room, the University of Sydney

REQUIRED READING: Lauren Berlant & Michael Warner “Sex in Public” Critical Inquiry 24.2 (Winter, 1998): 547-566 ; Sarah Ensor “Queer Fallout: Samuel Delany and the Ecology of Cruising” Environmental Humanities (Forthcoming, 2017).

TIME PRESSED: Berlant/Warner 447-448 [to Scene 1] and 558-566, [from 3. Queer Counterpublics] & Ensor 1-3 [up to subheadingCruising’s Queer Ecology] & 11-18 [section entitled Ecological Lessness; or Environmentalism Without Environmentalists]. Total = 20 pages.

OPTIONAL READING: Maggie Nelson The Argonauts (Minneapolis: Greywolf Press, 2015); Nicole Seymour “‘Ranch Stiffs’ and ‘Beach Cowboys’ in the Shrinking Public Sphere: Sexual Domestication in Brokeback Mountain and Surf Party” in Strange Natures: Futurity, Empathy, and the Queer Ecological Imagination (Urbana, Chicago & Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2013): 105-146.

Image: Lady Bay, Sydney


sex in public whiteboard BW.png

Whiteboard round up of questions


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