Call for Submissions: Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies Special Issue: “Thinking about Censorship Differently”

Expected Publication Date: November 2016 (Vol 13, Issue 2)

Co-Editors: Clarissa Smith (University of Sunderland, UK); Mark McKenna (Glyndwr University, UK); Jason Zenor (State University of NY-Oswego, US)


Participations is the online Journal devoted to the broad field of audience and reception studies. It aims to bring into dialogue work and debate across all fields involved in examining all areas of media and culture.  Participations has pioneered a system of open refereeing for all contributions, designed to encourage open, critical debate among researchers.  It can be found at


Call for Papers

Over the last few years, the issue of censorship has been looming larger. Governments have always been keen to close down arguments which they find threatening; sometimes arbitrarily, sometimes with at least a superficial attempt at ‘justification’. Recently, this has taken the form (in many places) of attempts to shut down the social media which are perceived to be beyond governmental control. At the same time, rising levels of conflict around religion have pushed the issue of ‘offence’ high on the agenda while different kinds of cultural representation involving race, gender and sexuality have been defined as ‘dangerous’. The result has been such horrible moments as the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January. It is in such contexts that governments are likely to reverse their usual rhetorics, and speak out for ‘freedom of speech’ – even when they have been happy enough to stifle it themselves in various ways.

All kinds of working assumptions about how cultural and media materials are received by members of the public are embedded within these ongoing arguments and counter-arguments. On one side, when authorities are for censorship, there are usually claims about the ‘immaturity’ and ‘vulnerability’ of the people who need protecting, often from themselves. On the other side, when the right to ‘freedom of speech’ is paraded, then come the claims that people can ‘get the joke’, can ‘see satire for what it is’. When campaigning groups of any kind denounce ‘offensive’ materials, they usually proclaim their own emotional outrage on behalf of those whom they imagine will be harmed by the offending materials.

Many kinds of voices, including those of academic researchers, are heard in the ongoing debates about all these issues: from law, political studies, religious studies, sociology, psychology, and so on. But what might be the contribution of audience and reception studies?  Accordingly, we are pleased to announce a Special Issue of Participations:  Journal of Audience and Reception Studies. We are interested to hear from scholars and practitioners who are studying the nexus of censorship and reception.

Possible questions to be addressed are:


  1. How are debates about censorship conducted, and what claims are made about ‘audiences’ in concrete circumstances?
  2. How does the concept/discourse of ‘offence’ work in different contexts and for different audiences?
  3. How do audiences claimed to be ‘immature’ actually relate to and make sense of the materials deemed dangerous for them?
  4. How do particular audiences claim challenging materials for themselves, and insist on making sense of them in particular ways?
  5. How do audiences read media depictions of censorship?
  6. How does audience reception of censorship differ in the context of fictional versus non-fictional texts?
  7. How do audiences interpret concepts such as insensitivity, incivility and indecency in mediated channels?
  8. How do audiences subvert censorship/attempts at censorship?
  9. What are individual’s and group’s experiences of being excluded from public discussion.
  10. What is the relationship between censorship and memory?
  11. How do definitions of censorship change moving from texts to platforms?


Manuscripts can cover various media (e.g. games, theatre, film, comics, music, television, social media, etc.) and genres (news, reality programming, non-fiction, pornography, etc.). Topics may also include non-mediated events such as protests, demonstrations, developing communities of resistance, navigating legal frameworks, etc.  The editors welcome theoretical essays as well as empirical studies from various methodologies.

Please send a 250 word abstract to  by October 31, 2015. Please title the email “Participations Special Issue – your last name.”



Abstracts Due: October 31 2015

Decisions to Authors: November 30 2015

Full submissions: May 1 2016

Final drafts: September 1 2016

Publication: November 2016


Call for Papers: Inside Gonzo Porn

Porn Studies

Special Issue: Inside Gonzo Porn

This special issue of Porn Studies focuses on contemporary gonzo pornography. Emerging in the United States in the late 1980s and pioneered by directors such as John Stagliano, Seymore Butts, Ben Dover, and Rodney Moore, gonzo constituted both a low budget response and an “aesthetic” alternative to the glossy, plot-oriented feature films produced by companies such as VCA or Adam & Eve. Gonzo established a new “mode” of pornographic expression, taking fiction out of hard-core videos and heading straight for the sex, employing a documentary style – hand-held camera, camera-looks, live recording etc. – in order to enhance the authenticity and the realness of sexual representation (Hardy 2008; 2009; Biasin, Zecca 2009; Fuchs 2011; Tibbals 2014). In doing so, gonzo exacerbated the constant dialectic between the immediate, indexical depiction of the “mechanical truth of the bodily pleasure” (Williams 1989), and its symbolical reconstruction and “falsification” through specific representative and stylistic conventions (Dyer 1985; 1994). At the same time, gonzo pushed hard-core videos increasingly to the “extreme,” bringing sex performances and body practices to become more and more “hyperbolic” (Stüttgen 2009; Biasin, Zecca 2009; Paasonen 2011; Maddison 2012) – and almost completely detached from any sexological “idealism”.

Discursive tensions circulate gonzo – where different and often contrasting perspectives (theoretical and political) on porn representation and sexual agency meet and collide with each other. Some identify gonzo as a violent vehicle for the humiliation of women (Dines 2006; Purcell 2012) and “grotesque degradation” (Langman 2004), a chauvinist and hyper-masculinized “fantasy” of retaliation to women’s social assertiveness. Yet other academics and activists promote a queer, (trans)feminist and subcultural re-appropriation of gonzo as a way to explore new “contra-sexual” body practices (Preciado 2000; Stüttgen 2009), and to displace the heteronormative order (Borghi 2014); for them, gonzo constitutes a film form that can be productively re-employed to express new post-pornographic fantasies and desires, and to open alternative markets of porn consumption (Maina 2014). However, despite its centrality in debates about pornography, gonzo has hardly been examined in depth. This special issue of Porn Studies welcomes essays, interviews, and personal accounts from academics, artists, activists, and adult industry practitioners. Proposals are invited to address (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • Genders/Bodies: What gender configurations does gonzo perform and (re)produce? What constitution types does it dictate and (re)shape? How are bodies depicted and “treated” in gonzo?
  • Actors/Stars: What performative abilities and what acting techniques does gonzo require? What actor’s personae does gonzo construct? How is a gonzo celebrity built? And what is its social “aura”?
  • Styles/Texts: What are the representative conventions of gonzo? What is its iconography? What are the stylistic features of gonzo “aesthetics”? Is there a gonzo textual “canon”?
  • Contexts/Positions: What are the ways in which gonzo is consumed? And in which contexts? What consumption positions does gonzo activate? And what cultural repertories does it entail?
  • Markets/Business: How is gonzo positioned within the porn market? How is gonzo produced? What are its business models, its working routines, and its commercial strategies?
  • Communities/Fans: What reception and interpretive communities does gonzo produce? And what are their dynamics? Is it possible to speak about a gonzo participatory fan culture? Is there a gonzo “cult”?
  • Tastes/Affects: Does gonzo produce a distinctive sex taste culture? What fantasies and pleasures does it entail? What affects does gonzo generate? What is its carnal appeal? How could gonzo be embodied by the viewers?
  • Global/Local: How has US gonzo been re-adapted in different national contexts? What are the globalisation/glocalization processes that underlie the international dissemination of gonzo style?


Submission Details

Articles for peer-review should be between 5000-6000 words. Shorter thought pieces of approximately 1500-2000 words may also be submitted, and the editors will make a selection for the Forum section.

Journal Deadlines

  • The deadline for submission of proposals is September 1, 2015. Please send abstracts of 400 words and a short biographical note to and . Authors will be notified by September 7, 2015 if their proposals have been accepted.
  • The deadline for submission of full articles is January 18, 2016.
  • The special issue will be published in December 2016.

How to Submit

All manuscripts must be submitted online. Please consult the Authors and Submissions tab on the journal website for more information, and the Submit Online link is there as well:–‐Gh.


Editorial information

  • Guest editor: Dr Enrico Biasin ()
  • Guest editor: Dr Federico Zecca ()


Style Guidelines

Manuscript preparation instructions for Taylor and Francis publications and Routledge journals can be found here:



  • Biasin, Enrico, and Federico Zecca. 2009. “Contemporary Audiovisual Pornography: Branding Strategy and Gonzo Film Style.” Cinema & Cie: International Film Studies Journal 9 (12): 133-147
  • Borghi, Rachele. 2014. “Post Porn: Or, Alice’s Adventures in Sexland”. In Porn after Porn. Contemporary Alternative Pornographies, edited by Enrico Biasin, Giovanna Maina, Federico Zecca, 165-187. Milan: Mimesis International.
  • Dines, Gail. 2006. “The White Man’s Burden: Gonzo Pornography and the Construction of Black Masculinity,” Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 18 (1): 283-297
  • Dyer, Richard. 1985. “Male Gay Porn
Coming to Terms.” Jump Cut 30, pp. 27-29.
  • Dyer, Richard. 1994. “Idol Thoughts: Orgasm and Self-Reflexivity in Gay Pornography”. Critical Quarterly 36 (1): 48-62.
  • Fuchs, Michael. 2011. “Starring Porn: Metareference in Straight Pornographic Feature Films.” International Ford Madox Ford Studies 10: 379-413.
  • Hardy, Simon. 2008. “The Pornography of Reality.” Sexualities 11 (1-2), 60-64.
  • Hardy, Simon. 2009. “The New Pornographies: Representation or Reality?” In Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture, edited by Feona Attwood, 3-18. London: I.B. Tauris.
  • Lauren Langman. 2004. “Grotesque Degradation: Globalization, Carnivalization, and Cyberporn.” In seXXX: Readings on Sex, Pornography, and the Internet, edited by Dennis D. Waskul. New York: Peter Lang.
  • Maddison, Stephen. 2012. “The Limits of Pleasure? Max Hardcore and Extreme Porn.” In Hard to Swallow: Hard-Core Pornography on Screen, edited by Claire Hines and Darren Kerr, 113-125. London: Wallflower Press.
  • Maina, Giovanna. 2014. “Grotesque Empowerment: Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes Between Mainstream and Queer.” In Porn after Porn. Contemporary Alternative Pornographies, edited by Enrico Biasin, Giovanna Maina, Federico Zecca, 83-106. Milan: Mimesis International.
  • Paasonen, Susanna. 2011. Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Purcell, Natalie. 2012. Violence and the Pornographic Imaginary: The Politics of Sex, Gender, and Aggression in Hardcore Pornography. London: Routledge.
  • Preciado, Beatriz. 2000. Manifeste Contra-Sexuel. Paris: Balland.
  • Stüttgen, Tim, ed. 2009. Post / Porn / Politics. Queer_Feminist Perspectives on the Politics of Porn Performance and Sex_Work as Culture Production. Berlin: b_books.
  • Tibbals, Chauntelle Anne. 2010. “From The Devil in Miss Jones to DMJ6: Power, Inequality, and Consistency in the Content of US Adult Films.” Sexualities 13 (5): 625-644.
  • Tibbals, Chauntelle Anne. 2014. Gonzo, “Trannys, and Teens: Current Trends in US Adult Content Production, Distribution, and Consumption.” Porn Studies 1 (1-2): 127-135.
  • Williams, Linda. (1989) 1999. Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the “Frenzy of the Visible.” Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Williams, Linda. 2004. “Porn Studies: Proliferating Pornographies On/Scene: An Introduction.” In Porn Studies, edited by Linda Williams, 1-23. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.


Information for Presenters



Your presentation should be NO LONGER THAN 20 MINUTES, but there will be time for questions at the end of your parallel session. Please respect this time limit, so other panel presenters can speak for their full 20 minutes.

You will be able view the main conference programme in the coming weeks which will include full details of the parallel sessions, and the date and time of your presentation.

Use of IT equipment

You are asked to go to the room to set up any IT equipment you require at least 10 MINUTES BEFORE the session begins, and to introduce yourself to the panel chair.

Each room is equipped with a PC (Windows) and loudspeakers for playing back audio.

The easiest and smoothest way of bringing your electronic presentation to the session is on a memory stick. Unfortunately it will NOT be possible to use your own laptop, tablet or Mac, as this often causes disruption to conference parallel sessions, due to incompatability issues.

Any audio should be embedded into the presentation – some very experienced presenters have been surprised to find that their audio files have not been copied across with their PowerPoint file.

There will be IT support available, but parallel sessions present particular challenges because there are three running at the same time.

PREZI presentations should work on all the computers, which have full internet access.

If you have large files to access for your presentation, we recommend using Dropbox. Store the files in your own Dropbox account before coming to the conference and then download them onto the computer provided BEFORE your panel begins.


Paper presenters are required to register for the conference in order to participate in it. The registration page of the conference will be online shortly.

(It is likely that presenters who have not registered and paid the appropriate conference fee by 15th March will be removed from the programme before it is printed.)


Accommodation in London

"alt="ibis-london-greenwich" width="270" height="187">The Ibis Hotel at London Greenwich, with the Cafe Rouge below, is a short walk from Cutty Sark station – just a few minutes by DLR from South Quay

Accommodation is not included in registration fees. Participants are expected to book their own accommodation.

London is a magnificent city, and you’ll find a wide range of hotels, restaurants and bars within easy travelling distance of the conference venue at South Quay in London Docklands to suit every budget.

We recommend booking early to keep the price low as London is a popular destination. Furthermore, other events scheduled at the Excel exhibition centre and the Royal Military Academy in Greenwich for the same week as our conference mean that the hotels nearest to South Quay are booking up fast.

Hotel price comparison sites, such as hotelscombined and trivago can help you find the best deals, and we suggest using at least one to find a hotel within your budget. They use powerful search engines to interrogate multiple hotel booking sites, such as, and so you can choose between them all. If you begin by searching for ‘London Docklands’ you will be offered hotels closest to the venue. Unfortunately, London Docklands has in recent years become an important financial centre, and many of the closest hotels are very expensive as a result.

The magnificent 19th century vessel Cutty Sark, now preserved in a modern visitors’ centre in Greenwich

An excellent alternative is the historic town of Greenwich, which is easily accessible on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) by using the Cutty Sark station, just four stops away, or Greenwich station, which is five stops away. (See the DLR map at the foot of this page.) Greenwich has a number of interesting historic sites, such as the Royal Naval College, the Indoor Market and the final resting place for the former sea-going tea clipper, the Cutty Sark. There are several good pubs and restaurants, all within walking distance, and it is a relatively safe area.

If you are prepared to book a hotel a bit farther away you will find an enormous range of prices and levels of comfort, many of them located near London’s top attractions – but please bear in mind the additional travelling to and from the conference venue, as well as the disadvantages of being relatively isolated from other conference delegates and friends.

As far as possible, we would like most delegates to be located near to each other, in order to maximise the opportunities for networking and socialising together, as well as establishing our own informal support network. For some of our delegates this will be their first time in London, and any big capital city can be daunting, especially if you are unused to travelling alone.

London is a relatively safe city, especially in the city centre, in Docklands and in Greenwich. However, like anywhere, it is important to keep a close eye on your valuables and avoid situations where you might easily be pickpocketed, such as overcrowded underground trains (the ‘Tube’).

As well as working hard during the conference proceedings, we intend to enjoy ourselves at Freedom and Censorship in in the Media!

Our suggestions

Ibis, London Greenwich (Our first choice for balancing comfort, price and convenience – for the venue, Cutty Sark DLR station and the historic centre of Greenwich)

Travelodge Greenwich – probably the most convenient of three budget hotels in the area which offer clean, simple and modern accommodation

Hotels currently offering reasonable rates for 3* or 4* comfort (£100-£130 per night) include the following:

Premier Inn, London Greenwich (close to Greenwich DLR station, just five stops to South Quay)
Mercure, London Greenwich (4* comfort right by the Deptford Bridge DLR station – just six stops to South Quay)
City Nites, London Canary Wharf (Serviced apartments very close to the venue)
Three good, smart budget hotels (£45 – £75 per night) are:

Travelodge London Greenwich (right by the Deptford Bridge DLR station – just six stops to South Quay)
Travelodge London Docklands (a short walk to East India DLR station – change at Poplar for South Quay)
Travelodge London City Airport (a short walk to London City Airport DLR station – change at Poplar for South Quay)

St Christopher’s Hostel, Greenwich is very convenient for the DLR – and cheap

If you are brave, and not too dependent on comfort and privacy, there are a number of hostels offering very cheap shared accommodation from £10-£35 per night. For example:

St Christopher’s Hostel, Greenwich (right by Greenwich DLR station, just five stops from South Quay)
Clink78 & Clink261 are two hostels in central London, which are of course farther away from the conference venue They are very near King’s Cross/St Pancras Underground station, so from there just take the Northern Line (black) southbound to Bank station and then change to the DLR. We estimate a journey time of 40 minutes from King’s Cross/St Pancras to South Quay.
You can click on the images below to be taken to the hotel comparison sites and search for the best deals at these and other hotels.

Snap_2013.04.24 21.53.13_001
Part of the DLR network map. From central London go to Bank Underground station and follow signs for the DLR. Trains to Lewisham call at South Quay, Cutty Sark and Greenwich. In the opposite direction choose westbound DLR trains to Bank station, to connect with the London Underground system for central London. Alternatively, change from/to the Jubilee Line (silver) at Canary Wharf or Canning Town.

Call for Papers



April 8-10 2015 University of Sunderland London Campus, South Quay, London, UK

This conference, co-hosted by the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland, and the Onscenity Research Network will take place on April 8-10 2015 at the University of Sunderland London Campus, London, UK

Along with two keynote speakers addressing themes of intersectionality and sexual cultures, there will be keynote panels, bringing together key academics and activists on the topics of:

· Sex and disability

· Trans* and non-binary activism

· Sex worker and stripper activism

· Youth, race and sexuality

The overriding theme of the conference is the bringing together of academia with activism. Submissions are particularly welcomed from: academics who are also activists, activists who are also academics, academic/activists on the inside and outside of conventional academia, and academics and activists who are working together on projects relating to sexual cultures.

The key themes of the conference are:

Intersecting sex

Many of the most important and current debates around sexual identities, practices and cultures in recent years have cohered around intersectionality. Sex is an area in which we particularly see intersections playing out between various forms and systems of oppression discrimination. For example, key debates concern the possibilities for consensual sex and agency within multiple intersecting structures of oppression; the ways in which ‘sexualization’ operates – and is discussed – in gendered, classed, and raced ways; which bodies and identities are considered to have the potential to be sexual or not, and which are regarded as intrinsically hypersexual or pathologically sexual. Papers in this strand will explore intersectional elements of sexual identity, practice, experience and culture, the ways in which academics and/or activists are engaging and intervening in these areas (online and offline), and the key points of tension and conflict that are emerging around these issues.

Advising/educating sex

Sex advice and education is a key area of concern in relation to sexual cultures. Sex advice and sex education are arenas in which cultural conceptualisations of sex are reproduced and perpetuated, as well as being potential sites for the resisting of dominant cultural understandings and offering alternative possibilities. Sex advice and education occur across various media and diverse professional contexts, including – for example – self-help books, problem pages, websites, online forums, news reporting, TV documentaries, and pornography, as well as school sex ed, youth work, sexual health clinics, sex therapy, sex coaching and sex work. Papers in this strand will explore the kinds ways in which intimacies are being mediated through various forms of sex advice and education, as well as considering the ways in which activists and/or academics are engaging and intervening in these areas (online and offline, in policy and in practice) and the forms of sex advice and education that are emerging from these engagements and interventions.

Sex and technology

Technologies of all kinds have been central to the ways in which sex is understood and experienced in contemporary societies. We are interested in papers that explore evolving technologies in the presentation of sex through print, photography, film and video to todays online and mobile media; the ways that technologies are increasingly integrated into everyday sex lives; the expansion of sex technologies in toy, doll, machine and robot manufacture, the marketing of drugs such as Viagra and cosmetic technologies such as body modification and genital surgery for enhancing sex; the expansion of sex work and recreation online; sex 2.0 practices, regimes and environments such as porn tubes, sex chat rooms and worlds like Second Life; and the shifting relations between bodies and machines in the present and in predictions of futuresex.

Working sex

In recent years sex work has become a potent site for the discussion of labour, commerce and sexual ethics, attracting increased academic attention and public concern. Papers in this strand of the conference will seek to develop our understanding of commercial sex, focus on conceptualizing emerging types of sexual labour, and explore the place of sex work of all kinds in contemporary society. They will ask how an investigation of contemporary forms of sex work and sex as work may shed new light on the study of cultural production, industry, commerce, and notions of commodification and labour. We are also seeking papers which are interested in exploring the connections between work and leisure, work and pleasure, sex work as forms of body and affective labour, and the ethics and politics of sexual labour.

We invite proposals for the following:

Panels, roundtable discussions, and workshops of up to four presenters/facilitators (1 hour)

Papers/interactive events (20 minutes)

Short Ignite papers (5 minutes/20 slides)


We particularly welcome proposals for non-standard types of presentation which question the academic/activist distinction, such as fish bowl discussions, pecha kucha, creative methods workshops, and interactive workshops.

All presenters are requested to make their material accessible to an audience which will include academics, activists, practitioners and community members.

Deadline for the submission of proposals is October 31 2014.

For all individual papers please submit a 150 word abstract and 150 word biographical note. Please indicate which key theme of the conference your paper belongs to.

For panels, workshops and roundtable sessions please submit a 600-800 overview and set of abstracts with 150 word biographical notes. Please indicate which key theme of the conference you want your panel to be considered for.

The Organisers

s200_feona.attwoodFeona Attwood is Professor in Cultural Studies, Communication & Media at Middlesex University, UK.

Feona’s research is in the area of sex in contemporary culture; and in particular, sexual cultures; new technologies, identity and the body; and controversial media. Recent publications have focused on online sexual cultures, aesthetics, sex and the media, and public engagement. Feona is currently writing a book, Sex Media and Technology to be published by Edinburgh University Press.  Professor Attwood is the co-editor of Sexualities journal and founding co-editor of the journal Porn Studies.

Meg Barker PhotographDr. Meg John Barker is a writer, academic, counsellor and activist specialising in sex and relationships.

Meg is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and has published many academic books and papers on topics including non-monogamous relationships, sadomasochism, counselling, and mindfulness, as well as co-editing the journal Psychology & Sexuality. They were the lead author of The Bisexuality Report and are involved in running many public events on sexuality and relationships, including Critical Sexology. Meg is also a sex and relationship therapist, and their book and blog Rewriting the Rules addresses these matters on

Egan Photo 2R.Danielle Egan is Professor of Gender and Sexuality at St. Lawrence University, Canton, USA.

She is the author of Dancing for Dollars and Paying for Love: The Relationships Between Exotic Dancers and their Regular Customers (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and the co-authored book Theorizing the Sexual Child in Modernity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Danielle’s new book, Becoming Sexual: A Critical Appraisal of Girls and Sexualization (Polity 2013)  examines  the assumptions and implications at the heart of popular literature on the sexualization of children.

  1609865_10153866856795354_917152882_nClarissa Smith is Professor of Sexual Cultures in the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, part of the Faculty of Arts, Design and Media at Sunderland University.

Clarissa’s research interests relate to sex, sexual identities and sexual representations in contemporary culture; publications include One for the Girls! The Pleasures and Practices of Porn for Women (Intellect) and the co-authored Studying Sexualities: Theories, Representations, Cultures (Palgrave). A member of the editorial boards of Journal of Gender Studies, Sexualities and Participations, Clarissa is also the founding co-editor of Porn Studies. Website:;

The Venue

The conference will be held at the London Campus of the University of Sunderland, located at South Quay in the London Docklands district.

There are a wide range of hotels, restaurants and bars within easy travelling distance to suit every budget, and South Quay is just seven minutes from the historical and cultural site of the former seagoing vessel Cutty Sark, now located in Greenwich beside the Royal Observatory and the River Thames.

University of Sunderland London Campus, 197 Marsh Wall, Docklands, London, E14 9SG, UK.

Directions within London

There are a wide range of transport routes to London, and then to the campus. Once you are in London, the campus is located two minutes walk from the South Quay station on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), which is just 15 minutes from Bank station and the rest of the London Underground network. Nearby Canary Wharf station is also on the Jubilee Line, which offers a number of other connections to the rest of the London Underground. If arriving on the Jubilee Line at Canary Wharf, you will need to change there for a southbound DLR train to South Quay.



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:

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 ()

Call for Papers: Gay Male Porn Now

Gay Male Porn Now

It is now approaching 30 years since Jump Cut published the essay Men’s Pornography Gay vs Straight in which Tom Waugh was to attempt (perhaps for the first time) a systematic analysis and comparison of the representations and conditions of production, exhibition and consumption of straight and gay male pornography. In the wake of (and in the spirit of) Waugh’s intervention, a generation of scholars across Film, Media and Cultural Studies have been inspired to conduct their own studies of gay male pornography, its textual contours and its significances.

In the intervening years a great deal has changed in the media landscape and as a consequence the porn industry, gay and straight has a visibility that was inconceivable when Waugh wrote his essay in the middle of the 1980s. It’s in this radically changed context that this special edition of Porn Studies aims to take stock of the current state of scholarship that takes gay male pornography as its object of study.

From new formats and new modes of access, to new research avenues and new ways to make sense of what gay male porn means for its audience, the special edition will map the current terrain and indicate the direction for future research.

Submission Details

Submissions of particular interest are not limited to but may address:

New formats/new platforms
Amateur gay porn/User generated content
Bareback porn
Niche and fetish gay porn
The gay porn industry
Gay porn stars
Gay porn audiences and porn fandom
Discussion forums and gay porn blogs
This special edition of Porn Studies will be edited by Dr John Mercer

Please send abstracts of 300 words and a short biographical note to

Editorial information

Edited by: John Mercer ()