Lecture by Dr. Amber Jamilla Musser
“Carrie Mae Weems and the Question of Brown Jouissance”
Introduced by Dr. Sheila Cavanagh
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
519 Kaneff, YorkU
Carrie Mae Weems’ 1995-1996 installation “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried,” comprised of 34 photographic images from various archives (some of which were already in circulation) from the 19th and 20th centuries, provides an opportunity to meditate on the discourses of woundedness that permeate much thinking on race, affect, and masochism while also allowing us to theorize brown jouissance. Following Lacan, Amber Jamilla Musser takes jouissance to be the experience of being a body, what Nestor Braunstein describes as “positivity, […] ‘something’ lived by a body when pleasure stops being pleasure. It is a plus, a sensation that is beyond pleasure” (2003, 104). This lecture dwells on jouissance in order to retain the ambivalence of emotion that is provoked by Weems’ invocation of tears. Brown jouissance offers insight into thinking about this opacity as strategic, masochistic, and deeply connected to the flesh. Further, brown jouissance is not just adding race to Lacan’s concept, as Musser argues in her reading of Weems’ installation, it enables a rethinking of the relationship between psychoanalysis, femininity, and race.
Click here for Dr. Musser’s bio
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