Participants: Mary Ann Doane, Katherine Frank, Dany Nobus (moderator), Saul Robbins, Sarah Stanbury
A person who spies on others in a prurient fashion can be considered a voyeur. An artist might also play the role of voyeur, while gathering material for a creative project. Voyeurism, then, contains elements of both the pathological and the aesthetic, accentuating the fragile line between sociopathy and art. In psychoanalytic terms, scoptophilia (or what Freud termed Schaulust, the pleasure of looking) encompasses looking and curiosity, which may become affected by sexual and aggressive impulses. Developmental issues and conflicts may also influence how the mind processes what comes in through the eye. Whether it's a bystander pausing to stare at an accident, or Jimmy Stewart's character in Rear Window witnessing the strange goings-on in the apartment across the way, the act of looking contains both eroticism and mystery. This panel will explore looking, from the perspectives of psychoanalysis, neuroscience, art and film.
Mary Ann Doane is George Hazard Crooker Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. She is the author of The Emergence of Cinematic Time: Modernity, Contingency, the Archive, Femmes Fatales: Feminism, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis, and The Desire to Desire: The Woman's Film of the 1940s. In addition, she has published a wide range of articles on feminist film theory, sound in the cinema, psychoanalytic theory, television, and sexual and racial difference in film.
Katherine Frank is a cultural anthropologist currently studying the meaning and negotiation of sexual exclusivity in contemporary relationships. In addition to her work on monogamy, she has also written on the sex industry, pornography, feminism, eating disorders, and reality television. She is the author of G-Strings and Sympathy: Strip Club Regulars and Male Desire and a co-editor of Flesh for Fantasy: Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance.
Dany Nobus is Chair of Psychology and Psychoanalysis and Head of the School of Social Sciences at Brunel University, London, where he also directs the MA Program in Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Society. He is the author, most recently, of Knowing Nothing, Staying Stupid: Elements for a Psychoanalytic Epistemology.
Saul Robbins is a photographer interested in the ways in which people move through, relate to, and occupy their surroundings, especially the intersection of private and public experience in the urban environment. His photography has been exhibited internationally and published in The New York Times, TAM, The CPW Photography Quarterly, Zeek, Wired, Aufbau, San Francisco Photo Metro, and Berlin Tagesspiegel. He has work in the collections of Alliance Capital, Hunter College, and Oregon's Portland Museum of Art, among others. Robbins was the curator of Regarding Intimacy at The Karl and Bertha Leubsdorf Gallery at Hunter College, and co-curator of No Live Girls, an installation of artists' videos at The Lusty Lady in San Francisco and Seattle. In 1998 he was awarded a NICA Stipendium to study on exchange at Berlin's Hoch Schule der Kunste.
Sarah Stanbury is Professor of English at the College of the Holy Cross. She has written on space and embodiment in fourteenth-century texts as well as on ocular rapture in medieval religious writings and contemporary film. She is the author of Seeing the Gawain-Poet: Description and the Act of Perception and, most recently, The Visual Object of Desire in Late Medieval England.