On Robert Mapplethorpe’s photos:
2 articles by Kobena Mercer in Mercer, Welcome to the Jungle: Positions to Black Cultural Studies. The first one provides a negative critique of Mapplethorpe’s images of black men; the second significantly revises the first essay, to the point of completely changing the interpretation and evaluation.
Jane Gaines, “Competing Glances: Who is Reading Robert Mattlethorpe’s Black Book?
On Foucault and social constructionist positions on sex:
Jeffrey Weeks, Sexuality and Its Discontents: Meanings, Myths and Modern Sexualities (London: Rutledge, 1985) is a classic (and out of print) analysis of the key issues.
Michael Warner, The Trouble with Normal: Sex Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life (Cambridge MA: Harvard UP, 1999) argues against the attempt to gain a place for homosexuals by denying the radical forms of gay sex. A well thought out breif for sexual radicalism.
Assignment: Finding sexual images on the internet.
1. Do a Google.com search for sexual image material by entering keyword terms. Seek
make notes of what you find.
2. Do a Lexis/Nexis search (aka “Academic Universe” for “child pornography” [use the access path of the Univ. Library site’s reference section]
3. examine these URLs.
Then do a search and see if you can find Annie Sprinkle’s home page
4. Set up three free email accounts using the same (fictional, anonymous) identity. Start with MSN.com or Yahoo.com and use your NU (or other) email address. You will be asked for your age--make it over 21, gender, etc. You decide what kind of an identity you want. If in doubt make it gender neutral. Then go on and set up the other MSN or Yahoo.com and Lycos.com accounts for this fictitious identity which refer back to the anonymous MSN account. The purpose of this is to have any pesky mail sent to the account
Then, try to access adult “groups” “communities” etc. on these ISPs and see what you can find. Since some require joining, use the fictional identity to join--be careful the details of signing up--esp. about email.
5. Look at this “topsite” which provides access to free pornographic images (thumbnails which enlarge when you click on them) and then see what happens when you click further to enter the home site page: thehun.com
Since it seems everyone is doing pretty well on this line of investigation, here are a few more sites that might be interesting:
These two outfits sell tapes of films from earlier times. Something Weird covers a wide field of ephemeral, instructional, and exploitation films, including porn. Alpha Blue concentrates on soft and hardcore porn.
Insect fetish article:
MORE ON YAHOO, LYCOS, and MSN
This first set is useful in relation to the Linda Williams book for giving some sense of early photographic porn images.
Everyone--time to post your proposal for the final paper/project on Blackboard
For Tuesday’s discussion, I’d like to have you prepare some discussion points for the Kipnis and Penley writings; be prepared to address these areas:
Susan--what seem to be the key issues raised by the police and legal system in entrapping DePew for fantasies? What is the underlying logic of Kipnis’s critical interpretation of it? Does it go beyond a civil liberties concern?
Mary--what does Kipnis’s discussion of crossdressed porn offer your project on the penis in porn? If nothing, explain why.
Carlos--Kipnis argues that “fat porn” is transgressive; discuss.
Gayatri--How do you deal with Kipnis’s arguments about subversiveness given your project of seeing a lot of “transgression” as something that can be taken into commodity culture.
Kirsten and Amber--In the Hustler essay in particular, Kipnis discusses class issues (for example, the class markers of the women who pose for the “Beaver Hunt” section), as does Penley regarding “white trash.” Kirsten--Discuss this in relation to the concept of “slutty,” and the way a choice to perform sluttiness is or is not empowering and/or oppressive. Amber--extend this into the reputation/assumptions that follow the female participants in Temptation Island, The Bachelor, and Bachelorettes in Alaska.
Sangita--Kipnis argues in the final essay, “How to Look at Pornography,” that the McKinnon-Dworkin position on pornography is appealing to some because it does express the anger that some women feel, but without looking at the deeper causes of women’s situation. Discuss this in relation to working out your final paper project.