Enacting Pleasure

A Response to Carol Gilligans New Map of Love

Edited by Peggy Cooper Davis and Lizzy Cooper Davis


6 x 9 inches, 300 pp. October 2011

ISBN : 9781906497699

Rs  595.00 (HB)
$35.00 (HB)
£22.50 (HB)

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With the publication of In a Different Voice, Carol Gilligan made the altogether obvious but nonetheless controversial claim that a psychology of male development could not suffice as a psychology of human development. Since the publication of that revolutionary book, Gilligan has been recognized as a pioneer of feminist thought, but often vilified as an essentialist and a proponent of difference. A quarter of a century later, with the publication of The Birth of Pleasure, Gilligan offered an interpretation of human psychology, arguing through field research, through literature and through personal and political histories that the pleasure of love is a common human denominator and that inhibiting pleasure is a price that men and women pay equally for socialization in a hierarchical culture.


In Enacting Pleasure, a distinguished group of artists and scholars explore the personal and political implications of Gilligan's account of pleasure and the human psyche. Some find the work Eurocentric. Some see it as a blueprint for progressive politics. Some find it hetero-centic. Some see it as a path to sexual liberation. Some find it Freudian. Some find it anti-Freudian. Others find it prescient of the most most advanced thinking in neuroscience and human biology. The collection stands as a meditation on the role that love plays, in psychological health, in art, and in democratic politics. 


Peggy Cooper Davis is the John S. R. Shad Professor of Lawyering and Ethics at New York University and the author of Neglected Stories: The Constitution and Family Values (1997).


Lizzy Cooper Davis is a performing artist and doctoral candidate in African and African American Studies and Anthropology at Harvard University.


Theatre And Performance Studies