Feminism and Pornography Seminar Series

 Location: University of California Santa Cruz

Feminism and Pornography Seminar Series
College Eight, Room 301
This Spring, the Feminism and Pornography Research Cluster will host a series of seminars featuring prominent feminists who have written about or worked within the fields of pornography and erotica. Annie Sprinkle, Susie Bright, Carol Leigh, Ann Simonton, and Diana Russell work with, celebrate, and are critical of pornography and erotica in very different ways. They represent classic voices in the feminist pornography debates of the 1980s and 1990s although they hail from opposing factions of this contentious exchange.

Friday, April 18, 3:30-5:30pm
Ann Simonton is a writer, lecturer, and activist in anti-pornography feminism. More than twenty years ago, she founded Media Watch, a non-profit group that advocates against sexism and racism in media of all kinds. Simonton’s lectures and her work with Media Watch have helped to educate the public about feminism and to foster media literacy and critical consumerism.

Friday, May 2, 3:30-5:30pm *Advance registration is recommended
Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., is an author, artist, and sexologist as well as a former pornography performer and sex worker. She was a pivotal figure in the feminist sex-positive movement of the 1980s and 1990s. Currently, Dr. Sprinkle lectures widely as a sex educator. Her books include Post Porn Modernist and the award-winning Hardcore from the Heart: The Pleasures, Profits and Politics of Sex in Performance.
Carol Leigh (aka Scarlot Harlot) is a sex worker, artist, and activist who has been prominent in national and international sex work debates since the 1970s. Leigh is also a co-founder of BAY SWAN, Bay Area Sex Workers Advocacy Network, which organized sex worker rights advocates employed as outreach workers at various agencies. She has also been a spokeswoman for the sex workers’ rights organization COYOTE.

Friday, May 16, 3:30-5:30pm
Susie Bright is a sex educator and erotica author known as a pioneer of the sex-positive movement. She was co-founder and editor of the women’s sex magazine, On Our Backs, and currently hosts the weekly audio show, In Bed With Susie Bright. Her books include Mommy’s Little Girl: Susie Bright on Sex, Motherhood, Pornography, and Cherry Pie and Full Exposure: Opening Up to Sex and Creativity. Bright taught the first university class on the aesthetics and politics of pornography at the California Institute of the Arts in 1986, and she has taught courses on sexual representation at UCSC. Bright was the first female critic of the X-Rated Critics Organization in 1986; she wrote feminist reviews of erotic films for Penthouse Forum from 1986 to 1989.

Friday, May 30, 3:30-5:30pm
Diana Russell, Ph.D., is a renowned scholar and activist who has dedicated her life to combating violence against women and girls. She has written extensively on pornography as a cause of rape and sexual victimization and has been a central figure in anti-pornography feminism for decades. Her books include The Epidemic of Rape and Child Sexual Abuse in the United States; The Secret Trauma: Incest in the Lives of Girls and Women; Dangerous Relationships: Pornography, Misogyny, and Rape; Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm; and Making Violence Sexy: Feminist Views on Pornography.

We will read the books, articles, films, and other work produced by our speakers and will invite them to converse with us about their experiences of activism and scholarship as feminists working with, in, and against different pornographies. Contact Natalie Purcell at npurcell@ucsc.edu to join the Feminism and Pornography Research Cluster or to obtain more information about our Spring Speaker Series.
*We anticipate a large turnout for our May 2nd event, and space will be limited. Advance registration is recommended. Unregistered and/or late guests will not be admitted if space does not permit. E-mail npurcell@ucsc.edu to register.
Sponsored by the Feminism and Pornography Research Cluster
Please send your comments to the Center for Cultural Studies, cult@ucsc.edu.


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