Universiteit Leiden

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Seminar The Pornification of Culture

  • Prof. dr. Greta Olson (University of Giessen)
Wednesday 21 March 2018 - Thursday 22 March 2018
21 and 22 March from 10.00 - 13.00
P.N. van Eyckhof 3
P.N. van Eyckhof 3
2311 BV Leiden

Porn, this seminar maintains has gone mainstream. Its tropes and narratives increasingly appear as unmarked in everday culture. This pornification of Western post-industrial cultures includes the emergence of phenomena such as do-me or fuck-me feminism, erotic capital, and the sporno (sport + porn) body type as a new masculine ideal. In terms of cultural practices, this trend comprises the visual self-stylization of one’s fuckability particularly in digital forums. For women and girls, this quality is attested to in FaceBook and other forums through poses featuring pursed lips, deep breast and bottom cleavage, and come-hither facial expressions. For men, this trend is manifested in selfies that feature the subject’s hairless six or eight pack abdomen, juxtaposed above his open pants. It is also manifested in pole dancing having become a regular form of sport.

The seminar shall analyze specific texts in which porn tropes and narratives are carried over into mainstream culture and are thereby commodified or re-commodified. These texts include popular singers such as the US American Minaj’s highly sexualized video Anaconda (2014) or the Swedish singer Tove Lo’s short film, Fairy Dust (2016), in which the singer is filmed while masturbating. We shall also examine the adaption of porn tropes in various forms of self-fashioning, such as selfies.

The pornification of culture has been variously described as “the rise of raunch culture” (Ariel Levy 2005), “the new sexism” (Rosalind Gill, 2011), or as “the diversification of the pornographic” (Susanna Paasonen 2014). The seminar shall discuss these theoretical texts to better comprehend why porn has become so ubiquitously visible that its presence is rendered  invisible due to its regularity. 

Registration via NICA or Frans Willem Korsten.
Participation is free. 


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