The boundaries of porn studies : on Linda Williams' porn studies

Boyle, Karen (2006) The boundaries of porn studies : on Linda Williams' porn studies. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 4 (1). pp. 1-16. ISSN 1740-7923 (

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This paper centres around Porn Studies (ed. Linda Williams, 2004: Duke University Press). It examines the disciplinary terrain set out in this volume and the broader implications for the way in which we think about pornography in an academic context. Firstly, I explore the implications of the shift away from feminist debates about the nature, existence and regulation of pornography that this volume and others have called for. Secondly, I discuss the ‘porn' of porn studies: how do we define it, what is included and excluded by our definitions, and what are the implications of this definitional practice? Finally, I turn to the ‘study' of porn studies to consider the ethical and pedagogical consequences of canonising porn within the classroom and academic publishing.


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