IX MAGIS - International Film Studies Spring School
Porn Studies Section
Cartography of pornographic
audiovisuals / Call for Papers
The Porn Studies Section of the IX MAGIS - International Film Studies
Spring School (Gorizia,, Italy, April 8-14, 2011) intends to explore the geographies of audiovisual pornography
by employing a cartographic perspective
(cf. Barker 1996). This perspective accounts for at least two levels of
theoretical formalization, which involve both the diachronic dimension and the
synchronic one (cf. Cregan 2007). The first level deals with the construction
of chronological systems that subtend
the “historical space” in which a particular cultural phenomenon develops. The
second level deals with the elaboration of
topological systems that subtend the “geographical dynamic” through which that particular
cultural phenomenon appears. By joining the temporal
dimension and the spatial one (and vice versa), the cartographic dispositive
acquires a double nature, overlapping the “plain” geographic atlas with the “deep” historic archive (cf. Buchloh
Beginning with the next edition of MAGIS - International Film Studies
Spring School, the Porn Studies Section intends to promote a three-year
research project devoted to the compilation of a cartography of pornographic audiovisuals. This project plans to
investigate the discursive genealogy (and archaeology) of pornographic
audiovisuals within different cultural contexts. In particular, two are the
principal “cartographic axes”. On one hand, the project aims to reconstruct the
historical variables (on an
institutional, social, technological etc. level) which define the cultural existence of pornographic
audiovisuals, thereby establishing their conditions of possibility. On the
other, the project aims to trace the geographical
constants (on a sociological, economic, linguistic etc. level) which distinguish the different pornographic
audiovisuals in terms of national (or
regional) identity (cf. Castro 2009). Our main objective, therefore,
is to map the several morphological expressions (and transformations) which
pornographic audiovisuals have undergone during their historical evolution and
geographical expansion (cf. Russo Krauss 2010).
A further stage of the project intends to study the cartography of pornographic
audiovisuals from a metatheoretical
point-of-view. The culture of any society, in fact, is not an absolute body of
work but the result of a continual act of selection and interpretation, which
corresponds to a historically determined system of interests and values (cf. R.
Williams 1961). It is a matter of power,
therefore, if certain discourses prevail over others and thus establish the
necessary resources to mould the social and cultural life. Traditionally,
pornographic audiovisuals have been subjected to historical and geographical
reconstructions which answered to specific normative requirements. Accordingly,
the cartographic dispositive itself is not immune from this process of
discursive abstraction and selection (cf. Yates 1966). From this point-of-view,
our aim is to deconstruct the already
existent cartographies in order to search for the social forces that have
structured the pornographic audiovisuals (cf. Harley 2009).
In accordance with this methodological assumption, the Porn Studies Section
intends to encourage the following perspectives of study:
· Analysis of the permanences (on an iconographic, figurative, performative etc.
level) which constitute the “memory” of pornographic audiovisuals (cf. Grespi
2009) (i.e. the alleged “ritual substratum” in Japanese bukkake).
· Analysis of the migrations (on a representative, sociological, economical, etc.
level) performed by pornographic audiovisuals during their historical and
geographical development (cf. Colombo, 2009) (i.e. the process by which
Japanese bukkake turned into western
· Analysis of the equivalences and divergences
(on a stylistic, productive, consumptional etc. level) which can be observed,
from a comparative point-of-view, in pornographic audiovisuals belonging to
different cultural and sub-cultural contexts (cf. Gnisci 2002) (i.e. Japanese bukkake vs Americam Bukkake series).
· Analysis of the categorizations (on a political, legislative, academic etc. level)
to which pornographic audiovisuals have been submitted, according to different
historical and geographical epistemes (cf. Hunt 1996; L. Williams 1999) (i.e.
the relationship between the theoretical formulations of anti-porn feminists
and American censorship commissions).
Although we do not discourage general
historical or theoretical considerations, textual close readings devoted to
discursive genres, stylistic configurations, representational practices,
directors’ work etc. as well as case studies devoted to modes of consumption,
legislative systems, star systems, industrial structures etc. are particularly welcome.
o Stephen Barker, Signs of Change: Premodern, Modern,
Postmodern, State University
of New York Press, Albany, 1996.
o Benjamin Buchloh, “Atlas/Archive”, in Alex Coles (ed.), The Optic of Walter Benjamin, Blackdog
Publishing, Londra, 1999, pp. 12-35.
o Teresa Castro,
“Cinema’s Mapping Impulse: Questioning Visual Culture”, in The Cartographic Journal, vol. 46, no. 1, February 2009, pp. 9-15.
o Fausto Colombo (ed.),
Tracce. Atlante warburghiano della
televisione, Link, Colonio Monzese, 2010.
o Kate Cregan, “Early Modern Anatomy and the Queen’s Body
Natural: The Sovereign Subject”, in Body & Society, vol. 13,
no. 2, June 2007, pp. 47-66.
o Armando Gnisci (ed.),
Letteratura comparata, Bruno Mondadori,
o Barbara Grespi,
“Chaplin acrobata. Il gesto comico e la memoria automatica”, in Barbara Grespi
(ed.), Locus Solus. Memoria e immagini,
Bruno Mondadori, Milano, 2009, pp. 97-117.
o John Brian Harley,
“Deconstructing the Map”, in Cartographica,
vol. 26, no. 2, Summer 1989, pp. 1-20.
o Lynn Hunt,
“Introduction: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500-1800”, in Lynn Hunt
(ed.), The Invention of Pornography:
Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500-1800, Zone Books, New York,
1996, pp. 9-45.
o Frances A. Yates, The Art of Memory, Routledge & Kegan
Paul, Londra, 1966.
o Diana Russo Krauss,
Le lingue. Una prospettiva geografica,
Carocci, Roma, 2010.
o Linda Williams, Hardcore. Power, Plesure and the Frenzy of
the Visible, University of California Press, Berkeley-Los Angeles-Londra,
o Raymond Williams, The Long Revolution, Penguin,
Deadline for paper proposals: November 1, 2010.
Length for proposal: 1 page max. A short CV (10 lines max.) should be sent together with the paper proposal.