Call for Papers: Racial Pornographics

Racial Pornographics

This special issue of Porn Studies will promote a discussion about race in the study of pornography. Race remains an underdeveloped area of research in porn studies, and employing racial analytics to the study of pornography’s historical, representational, market, labor, industrial, and technological production is imperative for the field. Race is crucial for the field because it allows us to think through power relations that function in concert with gender, sexuality, and class, to uncover the historical importance of unequal looking relations, labor relations, and access to media authorship, and to reveal the ways in which desire, sexual and otherwise, is inextricably bound to processes of racialization.

A critical racial optic, moreover, illuminates the interests, desires, and experiences of racialized minorities as they are portrayed in, mobilize, or labor within pornographic fields. This mode of analysis may draw on the theoretical scholarship of critical race scholars, women of color feminists, and queer of color critique as well as on the emerging field of porn studies scholarship to think through the fantasies, energies, connectivities, pleasures, and power relations embedded in racial pornographies. Another function of a racial optics is to expose the rise of colorblindness or postracial ideologies in popular media discourses and academic theories about pornography, even as race is ever more salient to labor, economic, political, and looking relations within adult industries in a neoliberal era.

In addition, this special issue of Porn Studies will highlight research that launches pornographics as a framework for examining cultural productions and social relations outside of the genre and industry of pornography. Increasingly, scholars have drawn on pornography as a lens to problematize racial, gender, and sexual discourses, structures, and relations in ways that reveal the utility of pornographics as a mode of cultural inquiry that exceeds the formal confines of adult entertainment industries and networks of particular erotic communities. The goal of this special issue is to read the labor of race in pornography or pornographics, and the labor of pornography or pornographics in race.

Finally, although this is a scholarly journal we welcome essays, interviews, and creative pieces from academics, artists, activists, and adult industry practitioners.

About Porn Studies

New in 2014, Porn Studies is an international, peer-reviewed journal, which publishes original research examining specifically sexual and explicit media forms, their connections to wider media landscapes and their links to the broader spheres of (sex) work across historical periods and national contexts.


Race or racial minorities in pornographic images
Race or racial minorities in adult entertainment labor, racialized sex work
Deployments of racialized discourses in porn or discussions of porn
Colorblindness and postracial ideologies in porn or discussions of porn
Race in the production, distribution, or consumption of porn media technologies
Race or racial minorities in pornographic aesthetics or art
Racial discourses in antiporn or sex positive feminist approaches to pornography
Histories of race or racial minorities in pornography or pornographic cultural production
Ethnopornography and race
Racial or interracial communities in pornography
Race in global, transnational, or diasporic pornographies
Racial fetishism
Race and disability politics in pornography
Race and BDSM in pornography
Queer and feminist approaches to race and racism in pornography
Racial politics in porn activism, health issues, and legal concerns
Race and obscenity law, censorship, or free speech issues
Race and class in access to pornography, circulations of explicit media
Race in pornographic pop culture, sex tapes, viral videos, animation, and gaming
Race in feminist pornography, queer pornography, trans pornography, and gay porn
Race pleasure, racial pain, racial disgust, racial desire and other affective domains
Radical approaches to race or the methodology of racial studies in pornography
Address questions and submissions to:
Dr. Mireille Miller-Young
Department of Feminist Studies
University of California


The journal special issue will consist of original articles, book and/or film reviews, conference proceedings, photo essays, and a forum or dialogue based interview essay.

Submission formats:

Original articles, approximately 6,000-7,000 words in length (including notes)
Book or film reviews, approximately 1000-2000 words in length (including notes)
Conference proceedings or Photo Essay, approximately 1200 to 2000 words in length (including notes)
Forum pieces, Interviews, or Dialogue/Debate essays, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 words in length (including notes)
Style Guidelines:

Manuscripts are accepted in English, OED spelling and punctuation preferred, including use of single quotation marks. Authors should include 1-5 keywords, 150 word abstract, and a short biographical note. Manuscript preparation instructions for Taylor and Francis publications and Routledge journals can be found here.


Deadline to Receive Notice of Intent to Submit a Manuscript, 150-200 word Abstract: January 8, 2014
Deadline to Receive Full Submissions: April 11, 2014
Expected Publication Date: September 2015

Editorial information

Edited by: Mireille Miller-Young, Associate Professor of Feminist Studies, UC Santa Barbara ()