Laura Kipnis

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Laura Kipnis is a cultural critic and essayist whose work focuses on sexual politics, gender issues, aesthetics, popular culture, and pornography. She began her career as a video artist, exploring similar themes in the form of video essays.[1] She is a professor at Northwestern University in the Department of Radio-TV-Film, where she teaches film-making.

Kipnis earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the San Francisco Art Institute and a Master of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She also studied at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Studio Program. She has received fellowships for her work from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Michigan Society of Fellows,[2] and the National Endowment for the Arts.

In her 2003 book Against Love: A Polemic, a "ragingly witty yet contemplative look at the discontents of domestic and erotic relationships, Kipnis combines portions of the slashing sexual contrarianism of Mailer, the scathing antidomestic wit of early Roseanne Barr and the coolly analytical aesthetics of early Sontag." Publisher's Weekly (30 June 2003).

Her 2010 book, How to Become a Scandal, focuses on scandal: "shattered lives, downfall, disgrace and ruin, the rage of the community directed at its transgressors." McCarthy, Ellen (26 September 2010). "Laura Kipnis's "How to Become a Scandal," Washington Post".  "What allows for scandal in Kipnis’s schema is every individual’s blind spot, “a little existential joke on humankind (or in some cases, a ticking time bomb) nestled at the core of every lonely consciousness... Ostensibly about scandal, her book is most memorable as a convincing case for the ultimate unknowability of the self." Dominus, Susan, New York Times (26 September, 2010)

Her critical essays and reviews have appeared in Slate, Harper's, Playboy, The New York Times, Bookforum, and elsewhere.

Select Bibliography[edit]




  • "Girl, Interrupted". Village Voice. 16 March 1999. 
  • "Lust and Disgust: A Short History of Prudery, Feminist and Otherwise". Harper's Magazine 315 (1,888): 87–91. September 2007. 
  • "School for Scandal: The Larger Meaning of the Sordid Little Tale". Harper's Magazine 318 (1,906): 73–77. March 2009. 
  • "Pushing The Limits: Why Is Contemporary Art Addicted to Violence?". New York Times Book Review. 14 July 2011. p. 1. 
  • "Amazing Disgrace". Bookforum. September–November 2011. 
  • "I Mean It". New York Times Book Review. 12 August 2012. p. 17. 
  • "Death by Self-Parody". Bookforum. December–January 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • "Crazy in Love". Bookforum. April–May 2013. 
  • "Me, Myself, and Id: The Invention of the Narcissist". Harper's Magazine 329 (1,971): 76–81. August 2014. 


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  • Jane Juffer, "At home with pornography: women, sex, and everyday life", NYU Press, 1998, ISBN 0814742378

External links[edit]