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International Exposure

International Exposure: Perspectives on Modern European Pornography, 1800–2000

EDITED BY Lisa Z. Sigel
Copyright Date: 2005
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 296
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  • Book Info
    International Exposure
    Book Description:

    International Exposuredemonstrates the wealth of desires woven into the fabric of European history: desires about empire and nation, about self and other, about plenty and dearth. By documenting the diverse meanings of pornography, senior scholars from across disciplines show the ways that sexuality became central to the individual, to the nation, and to the transnational character of modern society. The ten essays in the volume engage a rich array of topics, including obscenity in the German states, censorship in France's Third Republic, "she-male" internet porn, the rise of incestuous longings in England, the place of the Hungarian video revolution in the global market, and the politics of pornography in Russia. Taken together, the essays illustrate the latest approaches to content, readership, form, and delivery in modern European pornography. A substantial discussion of the broad history and state of the field complements the ten in-depth case studies that examine a wide range of sources from literature to magazines, video to the internet. By tackling the highbrow and lowdown of the pornographic form, this volume lays the groundwork for the next surge of studies in the field.

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-4104-4
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction: Issues and Problems in the History of Pornography
    (pp. 1-26)
    Lisa Z. Sigel

    Like it or not, many of us come across pornography on a regular basis: naughty pictures wink from the seaside postcard rack, dirty magazines beckon from behind the convenience store counter, and scrambled images moan over cable TV. Full-length pornographic films can be ordered by mail, picked up in video stores, or downloaded over personal computers. One paradoxical effect of this saturation is that many people have come to ignore it altogether: to make a bad play on words, pornography is overexposed. Although cultural crises around sexuality and child pornography panics awaken the issue periodically, relatively few people spend their...

  5. Wanderers, Entertainers, and Seducers: Making Sense of Obscenity Law in the German States, 1830–1851
    (pp. 27-47)
    Sarah Leonard

    In October 1850 the police in Berlin confiscated the first full translation ofThe Memoirs of Casanova von Seingalt,published by Gustav Hempel in Berlin and translated by Ludwig Buhl.¹ During the brief period between the liberalization of the press laws following the political uprisings in 1848 and the codification of a new Prussian Legal Code in 1851, Hempel took the opportunity to republish theMemoirs,volumes that had been notoriously banned in the 1820s.² One result of the revolutionary demonstrations in 1848 was the suspension of a police ordinance from 1819 that authorized the police in Prussian territories to...

  6. Censorship in Republican Times: Censorship and Pornographic Novels Located in L’Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale, 1800–1900
    (pp. 48-66)
    Annie Stora-Lamarre

    The collection of books called “L’Enfer de la Bibliothèque Nationale” (the Hell Collection of the National Library) summons images brimming with the forbidden, “the cunning refinements of the carnal novel,” the fantastic universe whose meaning waits to be uncovered. A multitude of questions arise concerning these works’ origins, their organization in catalogs, their history. This collection of roughly nine hundred works have missing or fanciful dates and lack acknowledged authors; they vary in literary genre and narrative texture, and yet they bear surprising testimony to a despised and relegated production. These books produced new historical patterns of desire by drawing...

  7. Anti-Abolition Writes Obscenity: The English Vice, Transatlantic Slavery, and England’s Obscene Print Culture
    (pp. 67-99)
    Colette Colligan

    From the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century the flogged slave woman was a ubiquitous rhetorical and visual image in England largely introduced by transatlantic abolitionism. The image appeared in parliamentary debates, abolitionist pamphlets and newspapers, visual arts, and slave narratives. The flogged slave man did not have the same abolitionist appeal,¹ but the image of the flogged slave woman was repeatedly reproduced for public consumption, provoking Christian compassion, abolitionist zeal, and, disturbingly, prurience. Through the long nineteenth century this image underwent a series of literary and visual repetitions and transformations influenced by the English libidinal investment in the...

  8. The Rise of the Overly Affectionate Family: Incestuous Pornography and Displaced Desire among the Edwardian Middle Class
    (pp. 100-124)
    Lisa Z. Sigel

    In 1908 Parliament passed a piece of legislation that would seem largely unproblematic. If anything, the passage of the Punishment of Incest Act for England and Wales was grossly overdue. Ecclesiastical courts abandoned the death penalty for incest with the Restoration and then only feebly enforced canon law for cases of incestuous marriage by demanding the guilty do public penance at Lent.¹ When church courts ceased to regulate such behaviors in the nineteenth century, no legal jurisdiction existed for the prosecution of the offense. The lack of legislation did not go unnoticed; the issue of marrying “the deceased wife’s sister”...

  9. Old Wine in New Bottles? Literary Pornography in Twentieth-Century France
    (pp. 125-145)
    John Phillips

    French culture has long been perceived by the English-speaking reader as somehow more “erotic” than Anglo-Saxon culture.¹ This impression is partly due to the large numbers of pornographic publications that have been imported from Paris since the sixteenth century, first into England and later into the United States, but also to the peculiarly French association of pornography and subversion—hence, the fascination that the genre has held for well-known and highly regarded writers from Rabelais to Robbe-Grillet. This historical tradition of literary erotica was invigorated in the eighteenth century by the enormous popularity of libertine writing² and, in the modern...

  10. A Perfectly British Business: Stagnation, Continuities, and Change on the Top Shelf
    (pp. 146-172)
    Clarissa Smith

    It used to be complaints about scantily clad ladies in provocative poses, but now opponents of girlie magazines are applauding the accumulation of dust on British newsagents’ top shelves as sales of soft-core plummet. In defiance of the claims of antiporn campaigners that pornography can only proliferate if allowed high street outlets, this branch of sexually explicit production seems to have had its day. All the major UK publishers have felt the effects of waning sales and diminishing profits as “top-shelf lovelies” have been replaced by more profitable sandwiches in high street newsagents. The decline of the girlie magazine could...

  11. Global Traffic in Pornography: The Hungarian Example
    (pp. 173-204)
    Katalin Szoverfy Milter and Joseph W. Slade

    According to Curt Moreck’sSittenge-schichte des Kinos,the first authoritative study of pornographic motion pictures, Budapest after the turn of the twentieth century was the principal source of the stag film, the precursor of today’s triple-X video.¹ Stag films may have appeared as early as 1899, probably in France. Made in ten-minute lengths of black-and-white 35 mm film stock that fit on a single, easily smuggled reel, the silent stag depicted hard-core intercourse interspersed with raucous intertitles. Crude and demotic, clandestinely made and distributed stags seemed to confirm the historian Erwin Panofsky’s contention that cinema itself had its origins in...

  12. Ideologies of the Second Coming in the Ukrainian Postcolonial Playground
    (pp. 205-231)
    Maryna Romanets

    The postindependence period in Ukraine (since 1991) has become a time of liberation from different forms of totalitarian and colonial oppression, the systematized social repression of the body in the sterilized Soviet society, in which the domains of “pleasure” were prescribed and thoroughly sanitized by the state, being one of them. Having been implemented through militant moralism and prudery promoted by the state for its own political purposes, with Communist Party committees as sole custodians and caretakers of “a communism builder’s moral code,” this repression became epitomized during one of the first USSR-USA TV bridges at the dawn of Gorbachev’s...

  13. Stripping the Nation Bare: Russian Pornography and the Insistence on Meaning
    (pp. 232-254)
    Eliot Borenstein

    Although it is impossible to know just how many readers have found themselves sexually aroused by Vladimir Sorokin’s description of oral and anal intercourse between Soviet leaders, his novelBlue Lard(Goluboe salo)² has managed to elicit the other response so often provoked by so-called pornography:³ outrage and prosecution. In July 2002 a nationalist, pro-Putin youth group called “Moving Together” filed a criminal complaint with the Moscow prosecutor against both the author and his publisher and also organized a public demonstration that culminated in flushing copies of the novel down a mock toilet. At press time the case was still...

  14. Walking on the Wild Side: Shemale Internet Pornography
    (pp. 255-274)
    John Phillips

    Academic interest in representations of sex in film, television, and print media now has a relatively long history and, indeed, has attained a measure of respectability that it may not have possessed as recently as the early 1990s. Numerous studies have been published to date, many by gay and feminist scholars, on the nature and effects of such representations, particularly in so-called pornography. Very little attention, however, has been focused by scholars on the Internet, perhaps because it is still a relatively new medium but, above all, I think, because, in spite of the recent expansion of cultural studies in...

  15. Contributors
    (pp. 275-278)
  16. Index
    (pp. 279-284)