UCLA Hosts ‘Comparative Pornographies’ Conference

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The University of California Los Angeles will be hosting a conference in March that focuses on the differences between Western and Asian pornography and seeks to “broaden” the discussion on porn by bringing “pornographic non-Western traditions” into the conversation.

The event is called “Comparative Pornographies: Transnational Approaches to Writing Sex, East and West,” and will be hosted at UCLA in a library on campus.

Comparative Pornographies seeks to “break down the barriers that have separated these scholars and engender a more transnational and intercultural approach to the qualities and development of pornography in the early modern world,” according to the event description on UCLA’s website.

“We aim to raise general, theoretical issues that relate to both Western and Asian obscenity, by exploring, for example, the intersection of pornography and modernity,” continues the description, “Another important and related line of inquiry has to do with terminology and genre.”

The event description goes on to argue that exploring “the risks and benefits” of applying the West’s idea of pornography to Asia’s is “crucial,” because it would be too easy to “categorize Chinese pornography with other non-Western sources as pornography.”

“The comparative impulse tends to make the European experience the norm,” continues the description, adding that scholars who work on “pornographic non-Western traditions” will hopefully be able to “broaden the comparative conversation through a meaningful and exciting conversation” at UCLA’s pornography event.

University events focused on pornography are not anything new, even in today’s #MeToo era, in which those who control academia are also calling for affirmative consent at every stage of any type of physical contact.

Universities across the United States have also begun sponsoring what is known as “Sex Week,” an entire school-week focused on eroticism, ranging anywhere from drag shows, to porn stars giving lectures on BDSM sex acts, and even “anal sex workshops.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.


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