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This course will (maybe) explore different concepts and theories of ambivalence, typically defined as "simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action;" "continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite);" and "uncertainty as to which approach to follow."

In addition to researching and reading what various contemporary thinkers have to say about ambivalence, we will also attempt to debate the relative pros and cons of ambivalence as a state/position/strategy. What is dangerous, or, alternately, enchanting, about ambivalence? How might we theorize an ethics of uncertainty?

Readings will include excerpts from USC professor Karen Pinkus' new book on alchemy and ambivalence, as well as selections from psychoanalytic, queer, trans and other works relevant to the topic. Suggestions encouraged!

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sarahkessler's picture

Brief note: This course will soon be scheduled for four consecutive Sundays in February (i.e. one meeting will take place every Sunday in February). The course will be held at The Public School and/or the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall. More information to follow, and in the meantime, please feel free to send any ideas regarding ambivalent theories/practices my way!


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