Interview with Ann Pellegrini, conducted by Diana Taylor, founding director of the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. This interview is a part of a series curated by the Hemispheric Institute, articulated around the question 'What is Performance Studies?' The series aims to provide a multifaceted approach to the often difficult task of defining the coordinates of both a field of academic study as well as a lens through which to assess and document cultural practice and embodied behavior. The contingent definitions documented in this series are based on the groundbreaking experiences and the scholarly endeavors of renowned figures in contemporary performance studies and practice.
Ann Pellegrini is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Performance Studies at New York University. Her teaching and research interests are related to Queer theory; religion in American public life; religion and sexuality; psychoanalysis and culture; religion, performance, and community formation; cultures of childhood; feminist and queer performance; confessional culture; religion and secularism; Jewish cultural studies; and trauma studies. In spring 2008, she was Acting Director of New York University's Religious Studies Program. She is also affiliated to the Board of Directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay studies at the City University of New York.
Professor Pellegrini is the author of Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race (Routledge 1997). Together with Janet R. Jakobsen, she is the author of Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance (New York University 2003), which had a Second Edition with new preface, "The More Things Change: Sexual Freedom after Lawrence v. Texas" (Beacon Press 2004). She has also co-edited with Daniel Boyarin and Daniel Itzkovitz Queer Theory and the Jewish Question (Columbia University Press 2003); and with Janet Jakobsen she has co-edited Secularisms (Duke University Press 2008). Pellegrini has also contributed with essays to numerous anthologies in lesbian and gay studies and in Jewish cultural studies, and is the general editor, with José Muñoz, of the book series Sexual Cultures: New Directions from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies.