An email advertisement The Motley Monk received describes the purpose of the new journal:
Porn Studies is an interdisciplinary journal informed by critical sexuality
studies and work exploring the intersection of sexuality, gender, race,
class, age and ability. It focuses on developing knowledge of
pornographies past and present, in all their variations and around the
world. Because pornography studies are still in their infancy the journal
will also publish discussions that focus on theoretical approaches,
methodology and research ethics. Alongside articles, the journal
includes a forum devoted to shorter observations, developments,
debates or issues in porn studies, designed to encourage exchange
Edited by Professors Feona Attwood of Middlesex University and Clarissa Smith of the University of Sunderland and supported by an international editorial board--Constance Penley, Brian McNair, Lynn Comella, Martin Barker, Susanna Paasonen, and Alan McKee--Porn Studies will publish articles by leading scholars of pornology that address some of the leading themes in such research today.
Discussing the need for the journal, Attwood and Smith noted:
Perhaps one of the most important reasons for Porn Studies is the
very topicality of pornography; we believe it is the right time to launch
this journal because the subject is so politically and emotionally charged.
Pornography has a public presence as an object of concern and as a
metaphor used to designate the boundaries of the public space.
The contents of the inaugural double issue include:
- "The 'Problem' of Sexual Fantasies" explores understandings of the relations between pornography and sexual imaginaries.
- "Porn and Sex Education, Porn as Sex Education" addresses fears about what children might be learning from pornography and their intersections with other issues around young people’s sexual practices, sexual self-representation, and sexual knowledge.
- "Studying Porn Cultures’" suggests a "porn studies-in-action," exhorting researchers to "leave the confines of our offices, and spend time in the places where pornography is made, distributed and consumed, discussed and debated, taught and adjudicated."
Endorsements for the new journal are pouring in. For example, Professor Gerard Goggin of the University of Sydney states:
Finally we have a journal that brings together the urgently needed
research, theories, and debates to make sense of an important
aspect of social and cultural life. The breadth, depth, and richness of
its packed first issue confirms its promise as a platform, not only for
understanding pornography--but as a space for new, adventurous,
genuinely cosmopolitan rethinking of many of the things about identity,
bodies, power, belonging, media, and contemporary reality that we
take-for-granted, but still know too little about.
The purpose of higher education, of course, is the unfettered pursuit of the truth...irrespective of where the facts may lead. If pornology is a legitimate academic enterprise, then it won't be long before tenured professors are teaching undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral courses. Perhaps there also will be laboratories for experiments and teaching assistants. And, endowed chairs will be established for the best pornologists. Imagine that! Perhaps, too, pornology will surpass women's and gender studies in popularity and academic administrators will make pornology part of the required core for every undergraduate.
If so, The Motley Monk is thinking about establishing an office pool: Which Catholic university or college will inaugurate the first program in pornology? Of course, it will be argued, such a program is consistent with the institution's catholic identity.
Let the discussion begin...
To visit the homepage for Porn Studies, click on the following link: