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Professor Lynne Segal

BA Hons, PhD (Univ of Sydney)
Anniversary Professor of Psychology & Gender Studies

Profile

Academic Background

  • Lynne Segal joined Birkbeck as an Anniversary Professor to celebrate 175 years of Birkbeck College, in 1999. She was first involved in expanding the remit of gender studies at Birkbeck, straddling the departments of Psychology and English & the Humanities; later in helping to establish the new department of Psychosocial Studies. Her degrees were in Psychology, focussing on conceptual disputes in that discipline. She worked for many years in the Psychology Department of Middlesexs University. Her teaching and research interests began with introducing feminist thought, psychoanalytic reflection, social and cultural location into a critique of mainstream Psychology, later adding critical theory when looking at the intersections between Psychology and other branches of knowledge. Her major publications have been in the area of in feminist theory and politics, shifting understandings of femininity, masculinity and sexuality, alongside more recent work on attachments, belongings, the work of memory, social conflict and, most recently, the psychic paradoxes of ageing.

Research and Teaching

Research interests

  • Dilemmas in Feminist Thought and Practice.
  • Shifting Understandings of Gender and Sexuality.
  • Identifications and Belongings.
  • Intimacies and Conflict.
  • Psychic Paradoxes of Ageing.Introduction

Introduction

  • My first research and writing in the 1980s was sceptical of attempts to highlight sexual difference as the grounding principle for feminist thought and struggle, stressing the complexities and ambiguities in both women’s and men’s mentalities and access to power. While always needing to confront the ubiquitous negation of the ‘feminine’. In my view, women’s struggles overall could neither be reduced simply to gender, nor solved purely by revaluing the ‘feminine’; nor could ‘male dominance’ be understood by positing intrinsic ties between ‘masculinity’ and ‘violence’ (Is the Future Female: Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary FeminismSlow Motion: Changing Masculinties, Changing Men). Whether studying the complex realm of the psychic, symbolic or structural formations of gendered life, research indicated both resistance to and acceptance of change as a constant feature in the lives of both women and men, across time and place. I hoped to capture the volatile fluidity of gendered and sexual experience in the psychic domain, despite the conceptual rigidities attempting to anchor them, eternally, in oppressively hierarchical sexual binaries (Straight Sex: The Politics of PleasureWhy Feminism? Gender, Psychology, Politics). My writing, throughout, has had a psychosocial and political inflection, while attempting to address both academic and more popular audiences, as I elaborated in a recent memoir, Making Trouble: Life and Politics. In much the same vein, I am currently addressing the paradoxes of ageing, the increasing stigmatization of old age and notions of dependency, searching for ways of affirming life, despite the inevitability of personal defeats, loss and mourning, Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing.

Research listings

  • Current research projects:
  • I have been associated with the Norwegian research project Being Together (headed up by Dr. Wencke Mühleisen and Dr. Jørgen Lorentzen, which will culminate with a conference and the launch of an anthology to be published by a Norwegian academic publisher. I will speak at the conference and write an essay for the anthology.
  • Out of Time: The Pleasures and Perils of Ageing: a new monograph to be published in 2013, on the psychic paradoxes of ageing.
  • Beyond the Fragments: Feminism & the Making of Socialism (with Sheila Rowbotham and Hilary Wainwright. New edition with new essays by its three authors, forthcoming 2013.

Teaching

  • In 2012/13, I will be: Running the doctoral seminars.
  • Co-course leader for the MA Psychosocial option Sexing the Body.
  • I teach on the Core Modules of MA/MSc Gender, Sexuality, Culture & Society and the MA Psychosocial Studies, and supervise Masters students across academic masters programmes.

Supervision

  • I currently supervise PhD students who are working on:
  • Homophobia in football.
  • Feminist Generational Legacies.
  • Post-Colonial Mimicry.
  • Queer Diasporas and Performativty.

Publications

Books

  • Rowbotham, S., Segal, L. and Hilary Wainwright, H. (1980) Beyond the Fragments: Feminism & the Making of Socialism, Merlin Press, London, Other eds: German/ Dutch/ Japanese/ Greek/ Turkish/ USA. New edition with new essays fortcoming, Merlin 2013.
  • Segal, L ed. (1983) What is to be done about the Family? Crisis in the Eighties, Penguin Books. Segal, L (1987) Is the Future Female? Troubled Thoughts on Contemporary Feminism, Virago Press, pp 272, US (Peter Bedrick Books); German (Fischer Books) Turkish (Ayrn Press)
  • Segal, L (1990) Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities, Virago Press; Rutgers Univ. Press; Turkish (Ayrn Press)
  • Segal, L Slow Motion: Changing Masculinities,Palgrave. Press, updated and revised. (2007)
  • Segal, L., McIntosh, M (1992) Sex Exposed: Sexuality and the Pornography Debate, Virago; Rutgers, 1993
  • Segal, L (1994) Straight Sex: The Politics of Pleasure, Virago Press; California Univ Press (Winner of Women and Psychogy Prize (USA).
  • Segal, L (1999) Why Feminism? Gender, Psychology, Politics; Columbia Univ. Press
  • Segal, L (1997) New Sexual Agendas, London, McMillan; New York, New York Un Univ. Press.
  • Segal, L. (2007) Making Trouble: Life and Politics, London, Serpents Tail.
  • Segal, L (2013) Out of Time:The Pleasures and Perils Ageing, London and New York, Verso Books.

Chapters in recent edited books

  • Segal, L (2000) ‘Gender, Genes and Genetics: From Darwin to the Human Genome’ in Culture in Psychology ed. C. Squire, Routledge, pp.31-45
  • Segal, L (2000) ‘Empowering Women Sexually’ in Women’s Health: An International Reader Ussher, J. ed. The British Psychological Society, pp. 1 14-124
  • Segal, L (2001) 'British Feminism at the Millennium Feminist Locations: Global/ Local/Theory/Practice in the Twenty-First Century (Rutgers Univ.) 37-59.
  • Segal, L (2001) ‘Beyond gender Cliché; Women in Post-War England’, in Felipe Fernanåndez -Armesto ed., A History of England: England 1945-2000, London, The Folio Society, pp.427-443
  • Segal, L. (2004) New Battlegrounds: Genetic Maps & Sexual Politics. In B.M. Brooks- Gordon, L.R. et.al. (eds) Sexual Positions: Diversity and the Law Hart Publishing, Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Segal, L (2008) ‘Solidarity at a Distance and Dreams of Peace’, in ed. Anne Karpf, et.al. A Time to Speak Out, London, Verso. Segal, L. (2008), ‘Seksualitet, politikk og skiftende generasjoner av feminister’ in Trine Annfelt, et.al. (eds), Når heteroseksualiteten må forklare seg, p23-46. Trondheim: Tapir Akademisk Forlag.
  • Segal, L. (2008), ‘Victims, Virility and Violence: The Landscape of Gender’, Socialist Register, London, Merlin Press
  • Segal, L. (2009), ‘She’s Leaving Home! Repositioning Women in the Narratives of the Sixties’ in Gurminder K. Bhambra and Ipek Demir (eds) 1968 in Retrospect: History, Politics, Alterity, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Segal, L. (2010), ‘Genders: Deconstructed, Reconstructed, Still on the Move’ in M. Wetherall and C. Mohanty eds, The SAGE Handbook of Identities, 321-338.
  • Segal, L. (2012), ‘Identity Troubles: After the “Cultural Turn”, in After the Cul-tural Turn, Cultural Turn, ed. S.Frosh and S.Roseneil, Palgrave Macmillan
  • Segal, L (2012), ‘Reluctant Citizens: Between Incorporation and Resistance’,in Beyond Citizenship? Feminism and the transformation of belonging, ed. S. Roseneil, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Segal, L (2012), ‘Jam Today: Women in the 1970s’, in Reassessing the 1970s, Lawrence Black and Hugh Pemberton, (eds), Manchester University Press.

Journal articles

  • Segal, L (1996) Feminism in Psychoanalysis: Creativity, Conservatism andConfinement, New Formations, Spring, No 28, pp85-101
  • Segal, L (1997) 'Generations of Feminism: Theory & Politics in ContemporaryFeminism’, Radical Philosophy, no 83, May, 1997 pp: 6-16
  • Segal, L (1997) 'Observation and Commentrary on 'Heterosexuality'Feminism & Psychology Vol 7, no 1.
  • Segal, L (1997) [with Peter Osborne] 'Culture and Power: An Interview with Stuart Hall', Radical Philosophy 86 (Nov/Dec), pp.24-41.
  • Segal, L (1998) 'Only the Literal: The Contradictions of Anti-Pornography Feminism, Sexualities, Vol 1 (1), 43-62,
  • Segal (1999) 'Only Contradictions on Offer: Anglo-American Feminism at the Millennium Women: A Cultural Review, vol 11, no1/2..19-36
  • Segal, (1999) 'Cautionary Tales: Between Freud & Feminism', Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory Oxford University Press Vol 6, No.1, pp. 61-80.
  • Segal, L (2000) ‘Subject to Suspicion: Feminism and Anti-statism’ Social Text, Spring, 62, pp.143-151
  • Segal, L (2000) ‘Psychoanalysis & Politics: Juliet Mitchell Then and Now’ Radical Philosophy 103, Sept/Oct 12-18
  • Segal, L (2001) ‘Forever Critical’ Journal of Critical Psychology Vol 1 No 1, pp.79-84.
  • Segal, L (2001) ‘Nature’s Way: Responding to and Thornhill and Palmer’, Psychology, Evolution & Gender, Vol 3, No 1: 87-94.
  • Segal, L (2001) ‘Back to the Boys? Temptations of the Good Gender Theorist’, Textual Practice,15, 12: 231-250.
  • Segal, L (2001) ‘Interview: Lynne Segal talks to Isobel Armstrong in Keeping Optimism Alive’, Women: A Cultural Review, Vol 12,No.3, 269-275.
  • Segal, L (2001) ‘Psychoanalysis and Politics: Juliet Mitchell Then and Now Studies in Gender & Sexuality, vol 2, no 4: 327-344.
  • Segal, L (2002) ‘Jews in the Culture Wars’.Radical Philosophy
  • Segal, L (2003) 'Thinking Like a Man: The Cultures of Science’ Women: A Cultural Review, Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Segal, L (2003) ‘Theoretical Afflictions: Rich White Folk Sing the Blues’, Remembering the 1990s: New Formations, No.50,142-156.
  • Segal, L (2003) ‘Lost Worlds: Memoirs of Left (1)’Radical Philosophy, 121, 6-23.
  • Segal, L (2004) ‘Formations of Feminism: Memoirs of Left (1I)’Radical Philosophy, 123, 8-28.
  • Segal, L (2005) ‘The Hidden Powers of Injury’, New Formations, No.55, Summer.
  • Segal, L (2007) ‘Forever Young: Medusa's Curse and the Discourses of Aging ’ in Women: a Cultural Review, no. 1 (spring) or no. 2 (summer)
  • Segal, L (2008) ‘Gender, War and Militarism: Making and Questioning the Links’, Feminist Review, 88: 21-35.
  • Segal, L. (2008), ‘All Ages and None: Commentary on Helene Moglen’s Ageing and Trans-Ageing’, Studies in Gender & Sexuality,
  • Segal, L. (2008), ‘Women ‘68ers, Marching on Alone’, Radical Philosophy, 149, May/June: 12-17.
  • Segal, L. (2009), ‘After Judith Butler: Identities, Who Needs them?’ Subjectivities,
  • Segal, L. (2009) ‘Erneuerungen des Feminismus’, Das Argument, 51: 281, pp.420-430.
  • Segal, L. (2009) ‘Who do you think you are? Feminist Memoir Writing’, 2009. , Issue. 67: 120-136.
  • Segal, L. (2010) ‘Feminism did not fail’, Radical Philosophy, 161: May/June, 43
  • Segal, L (1996) Feminism in Psychoanalysis: Creativity, Conservatism and Confinement, New Formations, Spring, No 28, pp85-101
  • Segal, L (1997) 'Generations of Feminism: Theory & Politics in Contemporary Feminism’, Radical Philosophy, no 83, May, 1997 pp: 6-16
  • Segal, L (1997) 'Observation and Commentrary on 'Heterosexuality' Feminism & Psychology Vol 7, no 1.
  • Segal, L (1997) [with Peter Osborne] 'Culture and Power: An Interview with Stuart Hall', Radical Philosophy 86 (Nov/Dec), pp.24-41.
  • Segal, L (1998) 'Only the Literal: The Contradictions of Anti-Pornography Feminism, Sexualities, Vol 1 (1), 43-62,
  • Segal (1999) 'Only Contradictions on Offer: Anglo-American Feminism at the Millennium Women: A Cultural Review, vol 11, no1/2..19-36

Media

Professional membership and awards

Professional membership

  • 2001 - Commissioning Editor Studies in Gender & Sexuality.
  • 1998 - Member of Editorial Board of Women: a Cultural Review
  • 1997 – International Advisory Board Men & Masculinities
  • 1990 - Member of Editorial Board of Feminism & Psychology

Honours and Awards

  • Winner of 1995 Women and Psychology, 1995 for Straight Sex: The Politics of Pleasure.
  • Short-Listed for Orange non-fiction prize, 1995.

Highlight

  • Segal, L. with Rowbotham, S., and Hilary Wainwright, H. (forthcoming)
  • Beyond the Fragments: Feminism & the Making of Socialism, new edition.Merlin Press, London, 2013.
  • Segal, L (2013, forthcoming) Out of Time:The Pleasures and Perils Ageing, London and New York, Verso Books.
  • Lynne Segal, plenary speaker, closing ceremony, PSYCHOANALYTIC VIEWS 6 "Gender, Sexual Identity and Sexuality",8-9 December 2012, Bosphorus University Cultural Center, Albert Long Hall

Contact details

Room 511, 30 Russell Square
Department of Psychosocial Studies
Birkbeck, University of London
London WC1B 5DT

Tel: +44 (0)20 7631 6069
Email: l.segal@bbk.ac.uk