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Porn Archives

Porn Archives

While sexually explicit writing and art have been around for millennia, pornography - as an aesthetic, moral, and juridical category - is a modern invention. The contributors to Porn Archives explore how the production and proliferation of pornography has been intertwined with the emergence of the archive as a conceptual and physical site for preserving, cataloguing, and transmitting documents and artifacts. By segregating and regulating access to sexually explicit material, archives have helped constitute pornography as a distinct genre. As a result, porn has become a site for the production of knowledge, as well as the production of pleasure.

The essays in this collection address the historically and culturally varied interactions between porn and the archive. Together the pieces trace pornography as it crosses borders, transforms technologies, consolidates sexual identities, and challenges notions of what counts as legitimate forms of knowledge. The collection concludes with a valuable resource for scholars: a list of pornography archives held by institutions around the world.

By Tim Dean, 514 pages, 2014. Published by Duke University Press Books.

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