The Laws of Desire

Panel Discussion
06 May 2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
The Great Hall
The Cooper Union
7 E 7th Street
New York, NY 10003

Boy or girl, straight or gay—what happens when the binaries that define our sexual identities begin to bend? Join us for a fascinating look at how the traditional laws of desire evolve over time for lovers and writers alike. Former war correspondent Carolin Emcke opens the evening with a reading from How We Desire, a transcendent fusion of memoir and essay that lays bare her journey of sexual identity. Acclaimed French novelist Édouard Louis discusses the liberating potential of personal reinvention, and the intersection of identity and desire across generations, with MacArthur “Genius” Grant-winning choreographer, director, and writer Bill T. Jones. And New Yorker writer Masha Gessen joins Emcke for a conversation on transgression and sexual realization, beyond the borders imposed by society. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind discussion of what is gained—and left behind—when the laws of desire are rewritten. Moderated by Rich Blint.

Hosted by The Cooper Union Office of Continuing Education and Public Programs.

This event is part of the World Voices Festival My Story stream, supported by Amazon Literary Partnership.

Credit card sales only at the venue.


Rich Blint
Masha Gessen
Bill T. Jones
Carolin Emcke
Édouard Louis

Event Sponsors