The Body

Laura Kipnis: The Public Scandal

This politician’s tawdry affair, that executive’s brazen embezzlement—armchair quarterbacking the public scandal has long been an unofficial national pastime. In How to Become a Scandal: Adventures in Bad Behavior, cultural critic Laura Kipnis dissects why people feel compelled to act out their tangled psychodramas on the national stage, and why we so enjoy watching them, hurling our condemnations while savoring—and sharing—every lurid detail. Kipnis’s new book continues her intellectual engagement with errant desire and the reign of the id, themes that began with her 1999 book Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America, and also propelled her 2003 book Against Love: A Polemic. Kipnis is a professor at Northwestern University.

This program is generously underwritten by Paula R. Kahn.

Speakers and Performers

Laura Kipnis

Laura Kipnis is a professor in the department of radio, television, and film at Northwestern University. She is a cultural theorist/critic and former video artist. Kipnis is the author of four books including The Female Thing: Dirt, Sex, Envy, Vulnerability, and Against Love: A Polemic. She is also the writer-director-producer of Marx: The Video, A Man's Woman, and Ecstasy Unlimited: The Interpenetrations of Sex and Capital.

CHF Suggests      Related links and resources for further study

Online Resources

Missing Edwards Webisode 1: Plane Truths
Video Kipnis played during the lecture