Book Launch for Professor Mari Ruti


Tuesday, September 18th, 6:30PM-8:30PM

Caversham Booksellers

98 Harbord Street

Free – all welcome

Caversham Booksellers invites you to join in celebrating the launch of Professor Mari Ruti’s two new books: Distillations: Theory, Ethics, Affect (Bloomsbury Academic) and Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life (Columbia University Press).

RSVP to:

(416) 944-0962 or 1-800-361-6120


Distillations: Theory, Ethics, Affect (Bloomsbury Academic, August 2018)

Distillations collects and condenses the key questions that Mari Ruti has addressed throughout her career. Moving fluidly between theoretical registers, Ruti reflects on the general state of contemporary theory as it relates to posthumanist ethics, political resistance, subjectivity, agency, desire, and bad feelings. Ruti’s critical of progressive theory’s tendency to advance extreme, improbable models of revolt, insisting instead—as her work does more broadly—that theory should speak directly to the reality of lived experience. To that end, one of the book’s aims is to explore the uncharted territory between psychoanalysis and affect theory, which are frequently held up as hopelessly incompatible, but which Ruti shows can be brought into productive dialogue.


Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life (Columbia University Press, May 2018)

Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings is a poignant, incisive work of autotheory that combines the personal and theoretical. Starting from a playful engagement with Freud’s idea of penis envy—an idea that, in college, made Ruti throw Freud’s book across the room—Penis Envy fans out into a broader consideration of neoliberal pragmatism and feminist politics. Ruti targets the emphases on high productivity, self-improvement, and relentless cheerfulness that drive our pressure-cooker age, arguing that such fantasies of “the good life” can lure us into a cycle of endless striving. In its critique of gender relations, Penis Envy refutes the idea that we live in a postfeminist world—rather, heteropatriarchy has transformed itself in insidious, subtle ways. Theoretically rigorous and lucidly written, Ruti lays bare the anxieties that often underlie our mythologies of self-fulfillment, romantic satisfaction, and professional success.

Mari Ruti is Distinguished Professor of critical theory and of gender and sexuality studies at the University of Toronto. An interdisciplinary scholar within the theoretical humanities, she is the author of twelve books.