Category Archives: queer

Call for papers: NGENDER Seminars in Gender Studies – University of Sussex, Spring 2012

I’m not organising ngender this year (after two years of involvement) but Rachel Wood, whose doctoral research is about passing & space, is. Rachel’s work on Sarah Waters & queer London will also be published in the same forthcoming Lesbian Studies special issue (‘Revolting Bodies: Desiring Lesbians’) as my article The mediation of community and revolt in online genderqueer porn. The Ngender call is open to non-Sussex researchers – so go for it! See below.

Call for Papers

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A cover image for GLQ

In January 2011, the special issue of: GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, Rethinking Sex, (Volume: 17, Issue: 1, edited by Ann Cvetkovich, Annamarie Jagose, Heather K. Love) featured my artwork on the cover. I was commissioned to reproduce an image from the 1982 Diary of a Conference on Sexuality which accompanied the conference “Towards a politics of sexuality”, organised by Carole Vance. My photograph tried to be faithful to the original (its beauty and atmosphere) but at the same time bring something of the present into it.

The issue marks the influence of Gayle Rubin’s canonical essay (Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality, 1984) on gender and sexuality studies. Heather Love (2011) notes how the debates about porn, S/M, and butch/femme in the late 1970s and early 1980s (the so called ‘sex wars’) connect with queer theory and politics. She suggests that we need to acknowledge the debt of sexuality studies, in its contemporary form, to feminism.

Remediation & genderqueer online at the Staging Illusion conference

Registration is now open for the Staging Illusion: Digital and Cultural Fantasy conference, which is organised by my colleague Russell Pearce and others in the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies & the Centre for Material Digital Culture at Sussex Uni.

I’ll be giving a paper on the The remediation of real bodies in genderqueer online porn: politics, control and affective labour. See abstract below and the conference tumblr blog here:

Abstract :

Online environments and web 2.0 platforms today appear as sites of experimentation and as opportunities to construct brand new sexual identities. The websites of queer alternative porn production companies increasingly employ the language of ‘real’ bodies. This opens up questions about the mediation of social meanings about queer and women in these sites. What kinds of publics are forming around this mediation?

Recent studies of online queer porn production have focused on questions of user authenticity (Attwood, 2010; Mowlabocus, 2010). These are concerned with the incompatibility between embodied actuality and ideal fluid cybersubjectivity (Wakeford, 2002; O’Riordan, 2007). However apart from user control, issues of authenticity in online queer alternative porn can be fruitfully thought as forms of labour.

This paper analyses discourses of authenticity in the websites nofauxxx.com and Furry Girl, two production companies from the field of genderqueer porn, which incorporate sexual and feminist politics in some way. The first component of my argument is that, in ‘real body discourses, this kind of porn production appears un-mediated. The mediation aspects of digital culture are in this process occluded. Secondly, I suggest that through this emphasis on queer visibility and authenticity, sexuality is constructed both as a disciplinary site and a site for value extraction. In particular, as ‘real’ bodies in these cases translate into diverse, inclusive and multiple, they create new needs and desires for politically sensitive lesbian consumers in neoliberal societies.

UPDATE: My article entitled ‘Remediating queer politics in online porn: Brand(ed) new sexualities and real bodies’, will be published in the special issue ‘Revolting Bodies: Desiring Lesbians’, in the Journal of Lesbian Studies (Forthcoming).

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Paper in Revolting Bodies, Politics & Genders- 18th Annual Lesbian Lives Conference

I’m doing a paper entitled ‘You Can Do More, You Can Actually Change the Productivity’: Affective Labour in Queer/ Feminist Porn Cultures, on Friday 11 February, at 4.45-6.15PM  in the panel ‘Performing an Erotic Room G4′ at the Revolting: Bodies, Politics & Genders, 18th Annual Lesbian Lives Conference Brighton 11-12 February 2011

Abstract:

‘You can do more, you can actually change the productivity’: Affective labour in queer/ feminist porn cultures.

This paper examines emerging digital visual cultures which generate and distribute queer/ feminist pornographic material. Using examples from FTM, gender-queer and online feminist pornography, it illustrates how the re-organisation of capitalist modes of production has moved to the site of intimacy. At the same time, the circulation of content and the quest for pleasure can be thought as a form of entitlement and belonging.

The analysis uses the framework of affective labour in order to understand what is being capitalised in queer/ feminist porn cultures, and to speculate their political potential. In particular, it focuses on discourses of ‘real bodies’, processes of self-surveillance and the production of commodifiable bodies and connections. The paper argues that, far from being liberatory spaces or gift economies, visual cultures of queer/ feminist porn are part of new digital economies which generate corporate profit from desire, sociability and life itself.

Keywords: affective labour, digital cultures, postporn, queer/ feminism

The 2011 Lesbian Lives Conference will be hosted by the University of Brighton LGBT and Queer Life Research Hub, in conjunction with the Women’s Studies Centre, University College Dublin.

UPDATE: My article entitled ‘Remediating queer politics in online porn: Brand(ed) new sexualities and real bodies’, will be published in the special issue ‘Revolting Bodies: Desiring Lesbians’, in the Journal of Lesbian Studies (Forthcoming).