Smutty doodles, nudie pixxx, and elaborately-staged sex shows were important way before the Internet, but the Internet greatly facilitates the dissemination (te-he-he) of porn, so it only makes sense that academics have decided that the world can no longer do without an academic journal (that no one will ever read) dedicated to all things pornographic.
According to the Guardian, Porn Studies is a Routledge academic periodical dedicated to porn and edited by Feona Attwood and Clarissa Smith. It will debut next spring, and a call for papers appeared earlier this week soliciting submissions for, in the editors’ words, “the first dedicated, international, peer-reviewed journal to critically explore those cultural products and services designated as pornographic.” It’s about time.
The Guardian speculates that the sudden flowering of a bona fide academic journal for all things porny owes itself to the distressing/encouraging popularity of the Fifty Shades books, which, for better or worse, have broadened the appeal of and access to erotica. Erotica is, much to the dismay of those faithful fans who were reading awesome erotica way before EL James decided to write some Twilight fanfiction, officially mainstream.
Porn Studies, however, won’t just focus on literary criticism — it will also be open to submissions from sociologists, criminologists, technologists and experts in cultural, media and gender studies. Attwood and Smith have said that “pornography studies are still in their infancy,” a subtle criticism, according to the Guardian, of cultural studies that have previously ignored the importance of pornography.
Anybody who’s been sitting on a paper explaining how mirroring effects in gangbang videos make them the equivalent of pornographic sestinas, now’s your chance to make a run at a tenure-track position.
Image via Getty, Hulton Archives