[Events] Discourses of Embodimen with Susie Orbach on 19 March

Noreen.Giffney Noreen.Giffney at staffmail.ul.ie
Sun Feb 21 23:50:02 GMT 2010


One-day intensive, interdisciplinary seminar, as part of Gender, Culture & Society Seminars @ UL, 

Hosted by Women's Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland


FRIDAY 19 MARCH 2010, 10.30 am-5.30 pm

Wood Room, Plassey House, University of Limerick, Ireland




This one-day intensive, interdisciplinary seminar provides an opportunity to hear and engage with one of the world's foremost experts on themes relating to the body, embodiment and corporeality. Susie Orbach is a practising psychoanalyst and the author of a large number of influential books and essays on feminist theory, embodiment and clinical issues. This seminar will focus on the publication of her new book Bodies (Profile Books 2009) in an effort to explore work on the body, embodiment and corporeality more generally from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives: psychoanalysis, medicine, feminism and gender studies, sexuality studies and queer theory, philosophy, disability studies, psychology, sociology and literary studies among others.


The emphasis in this seminar will be on discussion therefore those interested in attending must read at least three chapters from Bodies in advance (these will be provided). The day will consist of three sessions: (1) Speaking Bodies; (2) Sexy Bodies; (3) Lecture and Discussion with Susie Orbach. To facilitate discussion, each session will begin with four short, informal responses by specialists in the area of the theme being considered. The respondents are highly respected scholars and clinical practitioners who have taught and published widely in their areas of expertise: Noreen Giffney, Breda Gray, Ciara McMahon, Orla McDonnell, Lee Monaghan, Anne Mulhall, Aislinn O'Donnell, Michael O'Rourke, Carol Owens, Eve Watson and Fintan Walsh. 




This seminar is limited to 30 delegates to facilitate discussion. Attendance is free however delegates must register in advance and read the three chapters from Bodies in preparation for the seminar. To register, please send the following to noreen.giffney at ul.ie: a short biographical statement including institutional affiliation (if relevant), current research project (if relevant), publications and/or research interests (if relevant) and/or clinical experience/area of specialisation (if relevant). This statement will be included in the seminar pack.




Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst and writer. She co-founded The Women's Therapy Centre in 1976 and The Women's Therapy Centre Institute, a training institute in New York, in 1981. Her interests as a psychotherapist and writer have centred around feminism and psychoanalysis, counter-transference, psychoanalysis and the public sphere, the construction of femininity and gender, globalisation and body image and emotional literacy. Her numerous publications include the classic, Fat is a Feminist Issue, along with such other influential texts as Hunger Strike and The Impossibility of Sex. Her latest book, Bodies, was published in January 2009. Susie is Visiting Scholar at The New School for Social Research in New York, was a Visiting Professor at LSE for 10 years and has been a consultant to the World Bank, the NHS and Unilever. She was a board member of The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, is currently chair of the Relational School in the UK, is convener of Anybody (http://www.any-body.org <http://www.any-body.org/> ) campaigning for body diversity and has a clinical practice seeing individuals and couples.




Tempted to have a boob job? Tried botox? Building up those pecs with cosmetic surgery, or bulking up with steroids? Today we are offered so many procedures that turn the body into something we can perfect and design, but at the same time unhappiness and hatred towards our bodies abounds. Old or young, male or female, millions of people all over the world are under the same pressure to look flawless.


Some thirty years after the publication of the extraordinary bestselling Fat is a Feminist Issue, Susie Orbach argues that the way we view our bodies has become synonymous with how we view ourselves. Bodies explains why we are drawn to remaking our bodies and how we got into this mess in the first place. 


Required Reading: 

As this seminar focuses on Susie Orbach's Bodies, it is recommended that all delegates purchase and read a copy of the book in preparation for the seminar. 




10.30 Welcome & Introductions (Noreen Giffney, Women's Studies, Sociology, University of Limerick)


11.00 Speaking Bodies

·        11.00-11.40 Responses by Orla McDonnell (Sociology, University of Limerick), Ciara McMahon (medical doctor, psychodynamic psychotherapist and artist, Dublin), Lee Monaghan (Sociology University of Limerick) & Carol Owens (psychoanalyst [APPI, College of Psychoanalysts in Ireland] & Psychoanalytic Studies, Trinity College Dublin and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Independent Colleges, Dublin)

·        11.40-12.45 Discussion facilitated by Anne Mulhall (English, Drama and Film/Irish Studies University College Dublin)


Chapter for Discussion:

Susie Orbach, 'Speaking Bodies' in Bodies (London: Profile Books 2009), pp. 48-76.


12.45 Lunch (East Room, Plassey House)


13.45 Sexy Bodies

·        13.45-14.25 Responses by Breda Gray (Women's Studies, Sociology, University of Limerick), Michael O'Rourke (Philosophy, Independent Colleges, Dublin), Fintan Walsh (Drama Studies, Trinity College Dublin) & Eve Watson (psychoanalyst [APPI] & Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Independent Colleges, Dublin)

·        14.25-15.30 Discussion facilitated by Aislinn O'Donnell (Education and Philosophy, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick)


Chapter for Discussion:

Susie Orbach, 'And So to Sex' in Bodies (London: Profile Books 2009), pp. 112-133.


15.30-16.00 Tea & Coffee Break (East Room, Plassey House)


16.00 Lecture and Discussion with Susie Orbach

·        16.00-16.30 Lecture by Susie Orbach

·        16.30-17.30 Discussion facilitated by Noreen Giffney

Chapter for Discussion:

Susie Orbach, 'What Are Bodies for?' in Bodies (London: Profile Books 2009), pp. 134-145.


17.30 Thanks & Close of Seminar




This event forms part of the new Gender, Culture & Society seminar series at the University of Limerick. The Gender, Culture & Society (GCS) seminar series runs in tandem with the new MA in Gender, Culture and Society, convened by Women's Studies in the Department of Sociology. GCS aims to revisit debates within gender and sexuality studies in order to celebrate, challenge and rethink them by pushing the field in new directions. GCS is committed to supporting highly theoretical work and pioneering efforts in the areas of gender and sexuality. All speakers are invited and include thinkers whose work has had or will have a formidable influence on the development of critical theory and gender and sexuality. Seminar themes include: posthumanism and bioethics; intersex; discourses of embodiment; queer theory; theories of the image; masculinities; gender and sexuality in clinical psychoanalysis; and critical theory and the maternal. The emphasis is on discussion. For further details, contact Noreen Giffney, Women's Studies, Department of Sociology: noreen.giffney at ul.ie or visit http://www.ul.ie/womensstudies


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