Race, Consent, and Kink: Imagining Sexual Justice

This is an Archive of a Past Event

How do we imagine pleasure in the aftermath of racial and sexual violence? Join the next Arts + Justice Research Workshop as scholars and artists discuss the intersections of race, consent, and kink in Jeremy O. Harris's play Slave Play, the most Tony Award-nominated production in American theater history. We'll speak with the artists who choreographed intimacy for this production and discuss the strengths and limitations of consent for advancing sexual justice.

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Amber Jamilla Musser is professor of American studies at George Washington University. She has published widely on race and critical theory, queer femininities and race, race and sexuality, and queer of color critique. She is the author of Sensational Flesh: Race, Power, and Masochism (NYU Press, 2014) and Sensual Excess: Queer Femininity and Brown Jouissance (NYU Press, 2018). She also writes art criticism for the Brooklyn Rail. Currently she is working on a project on noise, shadows, and coloniality.

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou is a Greek and Greek-Cypriot psychoanalyst. She completed her psychoanalytic training, and now teaches in the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. She is on the faculty of several other psychoanalytic institutes across the country. She writes on queerness, psychosexuality, and consent, and is co-chairing of the October 2021 conference, “Laplanche in the States: the sexual and the cultural.” Her published articles have received numerous awards, including the annual essay prize from the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Ralph Roughton award. Her just-completed book project is provisionally entitled Risking Sexuality Beyond Consent: Race, Traumatophilia, and the Draw to Overwhelm. The book puts psychoanalysis into conversation with queer of color critique, and its second part critically engages Jeremy O. Harris’s Slave Play. When she isn’t working, she rides her motorcycle, cruising utopia, and hoping for good weather.

Teniece Divya Johnson, MA (Lehigh University, Sociology), MFA (University of Florida), is a student of life, stunt performer, and certified intimacy coordinator and intimacy director for television, film, and stage. Some credits include HBO’s Emmy winning Succession, Lovecraft Country, RAMY, HULU's Wu-Tang: An American Saga, FX's POSE, Run The World, The Hunters on Amazon, West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg, and the limited series The Underground Railroad written and directed by Barry Jenkins. Teniece is also honored to have worked on Slave Play at the Golden Theater and NYTW. Teaching and performing for over a decade, Teniece uses a multidisciplinary approach to cultivating self-healing and creative wellness practices. Driven to keep actors safe but the story dangerous Teniece’s devised theater experience, movement training, and spoken word poetry lends for a natural curiosity and commitment to honoring and dissecting what is on the page in order to develop a captivating movement dialogue of action and reaction. They are also an outspoken advocate for diversity, inclusivity, boundaries, collective healing, and consent culture.

Claire Warden is an intimacy director and coordinator, fight director, teacher, and actress and has worked in theatre, TV, and film across America, Europe, and the UK. As curriculum development coordinator of Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, she is part of the community helming the intimacy direction movement across America and the world. Claire has worked as intimacy coordinator on television and film productions under studios including HBO, Hulu, Amazon, Showtime, Sony, and 20th Century Fox. She is part of the team advising SAG-AFTRA on their protocols for nudity and hyper-exposed work. Claire made history as the first intimacy director on Broadway with Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune and also worked as intimacy director on the Broadway productions of Slave Play, The Inheritance, Jagged Little Pill, Linda Vista, Company, and West Side Story. She was recently awarded Variety Magazine’s 2019 "10 Broadway Players to Watch" as well a special Drama Desk Award for “pioneering work as an intimacy choreographer… and her leadership in the rapidly emerging movement of intimacy direction."