The Erotic

African-American lesbian poet and activist Audre Lorde argued the following in her landmark essay “Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power” (1978): “The erotic functions …  in several ways, and the first is in providing the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person. The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.”  Forty years on, Lorde’s words prove as insightful as ever. The joy that the erotic produces facilitates connections between and among people across various gender, racial, social, cultural, and political divides.

The erotic. A complex, tangled and ephemeral web of meeting points, interfaces and intersections at the beating heart of human living and thinking. Meeting points of intimacy, sensuality, arousal, sexuality, longing and desire. Interfaces between aesthetics, form, taste, art, photography, visual imagery and tactile textures, between music, performance, dance, fluidity and movement and the object of fashion, design, marketing and social mass appeal. Intersections across ethical, political, social, economic, cultural, psychological and philosophical insights and perspectives. The erotic unites, highlights, undermines and subverts the emotional and intellectual; stands at the heart of (sexual) relationships, orientations, acts and behaviours; and remains compellingly unique to us all.

This fully inclusive and accessible interdisciplinary project aims to explore the challenging, paradoxical and ambiguous nature of the ‘erotic’ which finds a resonance inside us all.


Activities

Conferences
The Joys of the Erotic: Bridges of Human Connection
Friday 29th June – Saturday 30th June 2018
Palermo, Italy

Call for papers, presentations and participation now active.