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Heartbreakers: Forever? Forever-ever?

with Artist-in-Residence Dessa

Wednesday May 24 2017 • 7:00pm - 8:15pm ET
In-person event


How do scientists quantify emotional sensitivity? Do sensitive people blink more when they’re freaked out? Does heartbreak feel different for everyone? Could our genes affect our romantic choices? Does love inhabit a particular region of the brain? If this song makes us too sad to drive straight, why are we playing it on repeat?

Rapper and essayist Dessa returns with the next event in this series – a collision of art, music and scientific research on love, sex and human adventures in pair-bonding.

When a relationship ends, by choice or circumstance, where should we keep all the feels? How “over it” do we really get? 

Featuring house musician DJ Paper Tiger, a Brooklyn-based hip hop producer, with special musical guest Alexei Moon Casselle and Nora McInerny; and Columbia University professor of psychology Geraldine Downey.

Bring a date. Find a date. (But please don’t leave your date with us—we’re taking some me time right now.) 

→ Video Webcast

You can also watch a live video stream right here at 7pm


→ See Full Series Schedule 


About Dessa

Dessa is a rapper, singer and essayist whom the Utne Reader calls, “A one-woman powerhouse…with a literary sensibility and an aversion to genre clichés.” As a musician she tours as a solo artist and as a member of Doomtree, the innovative Minneapolis-based hip-hop collective. On stage she’s funny and ferocious, but also tender—her live show includes rapid-fire rap songs, heartbreak ballads, catchy choruses, and some charismatic banter fueled by wit and whiskey. Dessa has published two literary collections, contributed a track to the Hamilton Mixtape (which reached #1 on the Billboard charts) and is currently at work on her first book-length collection of personal essays. She splits her time between Minneapolis and New York. For pictures, performances schedules, tour stories and other assorted nonsense, follow her at @dessadarling.


About the Guests

Alexei Moon Casselle (AKA Crescent Moon) committed to the craft of being an emcee at 15, dedicating himself to mastering the art of writing and performing rap songs. Since then, he has toured North America and Western Europe extensively, played hundreds of concerts as a frontman/lead vocalist, as well as a backing vocalist for revered hip-hop acts Eyedea & Abilities and Atmosphere. Casselle has recorded and released over 20 albums with various hip-hop groups, as well as with folk/Americana band Roma di Luna that he co-led as a singer/songwriter with Channy Leaneagh (POLIÇA). Some of his current projects include Kill The Vultures and Mixed Blood Majority.  

Nora McInerny is a Minneapolis-based writer and the widow of Aaron Purmort, known from his viral obituary as Spider-Man. Since her husband’s death in 2014, Nora has  published the best-selling memoir “It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool, Too)“, founded non-profit organization Still Kickin and launched American Public Media’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking, named a top podcast of 2016 by The Atlantic. 

Paper Tiger is a Brooklyn-based hip hop producer responsible for the production on many of Doomtree’s most crowd-pleasing singles. He’s got an ear for contagious, synthy melodies and a marked nostalgia for the 90s. Aside from his own projects and crew productions, Paper Tiger also doubles as Doomtree’s live DJ. He’s spun at the X-games, toured North America and Europe on the crew’s epic No Kings and All Hands tours, and has built a reputation as a solo artist in his own right. He composed the original score for the HBO documentary Rock and a Hard Place, which premiered in March 2017. His most recent EP In Other Words is available here


Columbia University psychology professor Dr. Geraldine Downey specializes in the study of personal and status based rejection. Her work has focused on the personality disposition of rejection sensitivity (RS) and on its association with responses to rejection as well as efforts made to prevent it. This line of work has led her to study sensitivity to rejection in intimate relationships, as well as RS based on personal characteristics and group characteristics such as race and gender. Recently, Dr. Downey has been using the knowledge acquired from her research on rejection to develop models of personality and attachment disorders.  


Event Details

1 hour and 15 minutes
The Greene Space
44 Charlton Street
New York , NY United States

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