Streisand Professor Lecture Series



April 27 - Esther Perel, "Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence."

Esther Perel has expertise in erotic intelligence, relational health and communication, and couples and family identity. Her work on communication, corporate relationships, team building, and work-life balance has been noted in the business world, she has maintained a therapy practice in New York for 30 years and she serves as faculty for The Family Studies Unit, Department of Psychiatry, New York University Medical Center and The International Trauma Studies Program at Columbia University. She will be speaking on intimacy and sex in long-term relationships.

 SGM 123, 7 - 8:15pm



January 27 - Eva Illouz, "Hard Core Romance or Why Fifty Shades of Grey became a Best-Seller."

Celebrated sociologist Eva Illouz is the author of numerous books, including Cold Intimacies: The Making of Emotional Capitalism; Saving the Modern Soul: Therapy, Emotions, and the Culture of Self-Help; Oprah Winfrey and the Glamour of Misery; and the recently published Why Love Hurts. At USC, Professor Illouz will deliver a lecture about the controversial novel, Fifty Shades of Grey.

TCC 227, 4:30 - 6:30pm



April 15 - Wendy Wood, "Love and Hormones in Modern Times."

Wendy Wood is a social psychologist who studies gender differences in behavior, along with behavioral habits and why they are so difficult to break.  A founding member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology and current vice dean for social sciences at USC, Dr. Wood will discuss the influence of hormones and social roles on romantic attraction.

THH 301, 4:45 - 6:00pm


2011-12 Series: “Where Is The Love?”

In 1984, The Barbra Streisand Foundation made the bold move of endowing the Streisand Professorship of Intimacy and Sexuality at the University of Southern California. This year’s Streisand Professor Lecture Series, “Where Is The Love?” revisits the intersection of love, intimacy and gender between women and men -- the scholarly nexus that originally inspired the Foundation’s support. It aims to invest the study of these relationships with the urgency and excitement that today’s society demands.

How and where are we finding love these days? How has this shifted over the past half-century? Have our understandings of heterosexual love and intimacy altered in this period, and in what ways? Are men and women still “intimate strangers,” as sociologist Lillian Rubin observed some twenty-five years ago, and in what ways does the answer to that question depend upon variables of race and class? How is technology transforming the landscape of heterosexual intimacy and sexuality? Is there a place for old-fashioned romance in this brave new digital world of ours?  “Where Is The Love?” features six prominent scholars and writers whose work illuminates the shifting terrain of intimacy and love in American society.


October 5 —Vivian Gornick, “The Problem of Free Love: Emma Goldman, Anarchy, and the Idea of the Liberated Self.”

Few writers have probed the complexities of modern love as brilliantly as essayist, biographer and memoirist, Vivian Gornick. The author of twelve books, including the just-published Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life, Gornick teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the New School in New York City. She will talk to us about the vicissitudes of love and intimacy in the 21st century.

WPH B27, 4:30 - 6:30pm


November 21 —Lois Banner, “The Complexities of Marilyn Monroe.”

USC Professor of History and Gender Studies, Lois Banner is the author of seven books that have helped to shape the field of U.S. women's and gender history. Professor Banner, who is currently finishing a biography of Marilyn Monroe, will discuss the ways in which this icon of white American femininity rebelled against the gender and sexual rules of her day. 

TCC 227 4:30 - 6:30pm


January 12 —Stephanie Coontz, “‘MadMen,’ Working ‘Girls,’ and Truly Desperate Housewives: Women, Men and Marriage in the 1960s.” 

A leading historian of the American family, Professor Coontz teaches History and Women’s Studies at Evergreen State College, and is the author of eight books, including the recent, A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. Her lecture will examine women’s changing status, from the 1920s onward, and will identify the new mystiques and possibilities facing men and women today.   

TCC 227, 4:30 - 6:30pm


March 6th, Ilana Gershon, “Every Time We Type Goodbye: New Media and Heartbreak.”

Professor Gershon is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Break-Up 2.0: Disconnecting Over New Media. An assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Culture at the University of Indiana in Bloomington, she will discuss how college students’ use of Facebook, cell phones, and IM is changing the face of romance today.

TCC 227, 4:30 - 6:30pm


April 9th, Paula England, "How Love and Sex Have Changed in America."

Professor of Sociology at New York University, Paula England is among our most influential sociologists of gender. The author of many important books, including Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence, she studies changing family patterns, sexual behavior, and gender and labor markets.

SGM 101, 4:30 - 6:30pm


Please RSVP to

  • Gender Studies Program
  • University of Southern California
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities, 422
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 90089-4352 USA