Porn Studies: Special Issue on Music

deadline for submissions: 
March 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Porn Studies
contact email: 

Article Length: 6,000-8,000 words

 

Scope:

Feona Atwood and Clarissa Smith (2014) write in “Porn Studies: An Introduction” that “Pornography has a public presence as an object of concern and as a metaphor used to designate the boundaries of the public space.”  Erotic texts, more generally, support this idea of boundaries and limits, existing often at the margins but also sometimes in the public sphere, but always evoking a demarcation between the accepted and the obscene. This Special Issue asks scholars to interrogate cultural artifacts, specifically music and the aural, which have been the subject of intense debates involving morality and censorship.  Many of the suggested topics have carved out a space that is counter to popular culture, in much the same way as hardcore and niche pornography, because they have been marked as deviant or transgressive in some way.  The journal issue would investigate auditory material at the margins and discuss the processes that render the aural rhetorically related to pornography and even, potentially, distinctly pornographic.  Pointedly, this issue seeks to add to the conversation concerning what constitutes pornography and how we come to identify pornography through analyzing materials that are not, at their surface, easily categorized as such.  Aligning with the work of Linda Williams (2013), it is the intention of this publication to continue rectifying what she notes as the “missing archive” of pornography, enriching the ongoing conversation in Porn Studies.

Essential questions at the heart of these inquiries will help to position cultural boundaries and defining characteristics that trigger a response akin to that which has been observed in research dealing with pornography.  These analyses will not look to further debate the pro/anti-porn discussions of earlier eras nor seek to revive arguments chiefly concerned with censorship, but seek to understand what narrative and linguistic elements arrive that render particular erotic material so morally opposed to rules of public consumption as to be branded, categorized, and relegated to the darker corners of academia because of their bawdy and erotic nature, similarly to what the study of pornography has encountered (Williams 2013).  What are the boundaries or limits that mark one song as deviant, obscene, or pornographic as opposed to other more generally accepted song narratives? What makes something titillating, provocative, erotic, or suggestive move into the realm of the pornographic? Is it possible to view erotically-charged song material in a manner similar to visual pornography and for it to evoke the same fervor of argument?  Is it advantageous, and advisable, to imagine musical pornographies (whether sung or read) as representations of realities worth investigating in respect to larger cultural truths?  What does it mean to listen to the pornographic?  Addressing these questions will help to situate conversations discussing erotically-charged aural material within the field of Porn Studies and aid in further defining the lines, boundaries, and limits of pornography as it has been identified to this moment. 

Potential Topics:

* impacts of music on porn, such as choice of music tracks for pornography

* race, music, and sexual evocation either in history or contemporary space

* dialogue and discourse in porn as a "music" of sorts, that can enhance the pornographic experience

* attitudes about and experiences of music in porn and erotic settings

* sexual and pornographic content in popular music, such as in music videos and social media

* examining the pornification of functional musical genres, such as chanteys and work songs

* erotic nature of music and its appeal based on gender and sexual identity

* porn performers who "cross over" to the music industry, a historically common trope

* men's use of pornified music as a bonding experience

* the aurally erotic or the act of listening to the pornographic

 

Important Dates

  • Abstract Submission Deadline: March 30, 2021
  • Notification: April 30, 2021
  • Final Manuscript Due: September 30, 2021
  • Publication Date: Determined by the Editor-in-Chief