The Intimacy Lectures

About Us

The Intimacy Lectures have been initiated by Allison Pugh and organized by a team including:

Allison Pugh is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia and an honorary research fellow at the University of Sydney in Australia.  Her research focuses on how economic trends affect people in their intimate lives, and examines how families adapt to increasing insecurity, commercialization, overwork, and risk.  Her latest book, The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity, is a study on the broader impacts of job precariousness, and is available this January from Oxford University Press.  Tumbleweed asks the question:  if employers owe us very little, what does that mean for the way we think about obligation in our other relationships?  Her first book, Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children and Consumer Culture (University of California Press, 2009), was based on three years of ethnography with children and parents in California, and looked at the commercialization of childhood from within.  She maintains a twitter feed @allison_pugh.

Allison Alexy was an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. A cultural anthropologist focusing on contemporary Japan, her research interests include ideals and experiences of family lives, constructions of intimacy, and legal anthropology. Her book manuscript, Divorce and the Romance of Independence in Contemporary Japan, considers how people negotiate connections, independence, happiness, and desire in relation to divorce. Her newer research project considers the intersections of family and citizenship in transnational relationships, particularly international child custody disputes and abductions. She is sorry not to be able to see these excellent talks in person.

Susan McKinnon is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology. As a cultural anthropologist, her research and writing have long been focused on issues relating to kinship, marriage, and gender. She examines their cross-cultural and historical diversity, their centrality in the structures and dynamics of hierarchy and equality, and the ways scientific texts have transformed their culturally specific manifestations into universal facts of nature. Her books include From a Shattered Sun: Hierarchy, Gender, and Alliance in the Tanimbar Islands and Neo-liberal Genetics: The Myths and Moral Tales of Evolutionary Psychology as well as the edited volumes, Relative Values: Reconfiguring Kinship Studies (with Sarah Franklin), Complexities: Beyond Nature and Nurture (with Sydel Silverman), and Vital Relations: Modernity and the Persistent Life of Kinship (with Fenella Cannell).

Andrea Press was the founding Chair of the Department of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. Currently she is Professor Media Studies and Sociology at the University of Virginia. Her most recent book is The New Media Environment (with Bruce Williams, Blackwell). She is also author of Women Watching Television: Gender, Class and Generation In The American Television Experience, Speaking Of Abortion: Television And Authority In The Lives Of Women (with Elizabeth R. Cole), and co-editor of New Feminist Television Studies: Queries into Postfeminist Television and of the journal The Communication Review. Her forthcoming book looks at representations of feminism/postfeminism in popular media, and their reception amongst women of different ages, occupations, social class and ethnic backgrounds. She has held appointments at Oxford University, the London School of Economics, Hebrew University, the University of Leicester, the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois, the Stanhope Center for Communications Policy Research, and the Tavistock Clinic in London, and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and the Soroptimist International Foundation.