Plenary I

Saturday, September 8th 9:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.

The Lodge Santa Fe, NM

Desiring Blackness

In this presentation African American studies scholar  Jennifer C. Nash challenges black feminism’s theory of representation and challenges her audience to think about how racial fictions can create a space of agency and even pleasure for black female subjects. Using a new method of analyzing pornographic films from the 1970s and 1980s, she focuses on black women’s pleasures in blackness and attends to the “messy contradictions” – between delight and discomfort, between desire and degradation. 

Contextualizing Pornography as Speech and Art

In this presentation philosopher Jacob Held rehearses the traditional discourse surrounding pornography as it regards free speech and artistic merit. In so doing he hopes to demonstrate that the discourse to date has served to dismiss or denigrate what has been deemed “pornographic” to the detriment of a broader conversation regarding sex and sexuality. 

Porn Studies and the Frenzy of the Visible 

In this talk film studies scholar Linda Williams will attempt to explain the nature and function of hard core pornography during the stag era when the films were silent, black and white, illegally produced and consumed in private stag parties for men only. Why did these films remain in their "primitive" state for so long after other films acquired sound, color and feature length? When did they begin, how did they end? What sort of "frenzy of the visible" did they produce?

Plenary II

Saturday, September 8th 2:00 p.m.-3:45 p.m.

The Lodge Santa Fe, NM

the pornographic unconscious 

In this paper literary scholar Tim Dean seeks to invert the lens through which pornography is usually studied, by using gay porn as a paradigm for thinking about straight porn.  It will describe some of the institutions within which pornography was viewed for approximately 4 decades in the US: the porn theaters of Times Square, New York.  The paper assesses the implications of viewing conditions in which, although porn on the screen may be heterosexual, sexual activity in the audience occurs almost exclusively among men.

Porn as a therapeutic tool: AN insider's perspective

In this presentation Dylan Ryan presents the findings of an autoethnographic study of pornography as a tool for increased sexual awareness.  It examines the beneficial  and complex elements of pornography in relationship to how they work for the pornographic performer as well as for therapy clients.  This examination is done through analysis and study of personal journals, video footage of ten years of pornographic performance, and client records. It assesses common themes and specific relevant stories as well as research pertaining to the ways pornography is seen, consumed and resisted as a medium for experiencing one’s sexuality and arousal.

sexing the transman

In this talk filmmaker, activist, and performer Buck Angel focuses on a groundbreaking mainstream documentary about FTM sexualities that involves intimate, in-depth conversations with transmen and those who love them – about how their bodies, sexualities, and identities are affected by the medical and social processes of gender transition. It highlights how transitioning can open up a greater sense of freedom, desire, and willingness to explore new types of pleasure.