Sex & Ethics Symposium


2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

This symposium brings together authors of two of the most provocative and exciting new books on sex and sexuality: Hatred of Sex by Tim Dean and Oliver Davis, and Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia by Avgi Saketopoulou.

Sex is hated as well as desired, Oliver Davis and Tim Dean contend, because sexual intensity impedes coherent selfhood and undermines identity, rendering us all a little more deplorable than we might wish. Davis and Dean explore the consequences of this for queer studies, attachment theory, the #MeToo movement, and “traumatology.”

Avgi Saketopoulou, calls attention to what traumatized subjects do with their pain and proposes that central to the transformational possibilities of trauma is a queer form of consent, limit consent, that is not about guarding the self but about risking experience.

Join us for an afternoon of presentations, a roundtable discussion, and extended Q&A with our guest speakers.

Reserve your ticket on Eventbrite.


This event is part of the Sex & Ethics Working Group, organized by John Paul Ricco and hosted by the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, which is also the main sponsor of this symposium. Co-sponsors: Department of Art History, and the Centre for Comparative Literature. Additional supported provided by the Centre for Ethics, and the Department of Visual Studies (UTM).

Presenter Bios

Oliver Davis is Professor of French Studies at Warwick University, UK, and co-author, with Tim Dean, of Hatred of Sex (Nebraska, 2022). His interdisciplinary research spans queer theory, Continental Philosophy and the ‘psychedelic humanities,’ an emerging discipline: common to his interventions in each area is an interest in political technologies. He is currently finishing a monograph on the political implications of the psychedelic renaissance in psychiatry, which includes critical discussion of the way in which psychedelics promise relief from the symptomatic after-effects of trauma and might accordingly presage a world less obsessively structured around commodified forms of traumatized identity.

Tim Dean is the James M. Benson Professor in English at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His work in queer studies is distinguished by its focus on sex, including an ongoing critique of the cultural and intellectual evasions of the darker aspects of sex. He is the author of Beyond Sexuality (2000), Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking (2009), and, with Oliver Davis, Hatred of Sex (2022). He has coedited Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis (2001), A Time for the Humanities (2008), and Porn Archives (2014).

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou is a psychoanalyst on faculty at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. Her work has received numerous awards including the Roughton and the Ruth Stein prizes. The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association has twice bestowed her their best annual essay prize, for her contributions on trans children (2014) and anti-racist racism (2023). Avgi’s interview on relational psychoanalysis is in the holdings of the Freud Museum, Vienna. With Dr. Ann Pellegrini, she is co-recipient of the first Tiresias Prize; their award-winning essay appears in their volume Gender Without Identity (Unconscious in Translation Press, 2023). Her monograph, Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia (NYU press, 2023) traces the entwinements of sexuality with performance, queer aesthetics, and overwhelm, and explores the ethics of sadism.