The Sexual Representation Collection Presents: Sex in the Archives with Ariane Cruz and Nguyen Tan Hoang

Date/Time
Date(s) - 28/02/2022
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


The Sexual Representation Collection speaker series is an annual lecture given by an esteemed scholar who is recognized for their research as it relates to pornography and/or representations of sexuality, and works to highlight the Bonham Centre’s Sexual Representation Collection, Canada’s largest university-based collection of pornography. This event will have live captions, and will be recorded.

February 28th, 2022:

Register on Zoom for access to the webinar.

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“Carbon Cosby. Pornmimicries of Race, Sexuality, and Gender”

Abstract: In this talk I discuss what I’ve termed pornmimicry, pornography’s spectacular multiplex mimetic performance which unveils mimicry as primary instrument of identificatory performance and race, sexuality, and gender as profoundly mimetic practices. Focusing on Not the Cosbys XXX (2009), a pornographic parody of the sitcom, I analyze pornography as a venue that lays bare the politics of race, sexuality, and gender that energize cultural practices of mimesis. More than a primary technique through which pornography acts as an archive of popular culture, mimicry is a salient technology for the re(production) of blackness in visual culture. Pornmimicry reals the sitcom and porn as forms of popular American entertainment dependent upon mimesis as a critical technique of racial sexual authenticity and both genre’s anxious citation of a domestic phantasm of heteronormative middle class “respectable” familial blackness and ultimately black belonging wherein “the real” manifests as that which is normatively reduplicated.

Ariane Cruz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Her most recent book is The Color of Kink: Black Women, BDSM, and Pornography (New York University Press, 2016).

“Sticky Pages: Gaysian Scholar Raids Sex Archive”

Abstract: This presentation takes a look back at “sticky rice” (Asian-Asian) desire in the Asian Male Nude Collection 1939-2014 (housed at the University of South Florida in Tampa) and in my own private stash of gaysian visual ephemera circa 1995. The only collection of its kind in the world, the Asian Male Nude Collection “contains magazines, news clippings, photographs, ephemera, and audio/visual materials that document the historical rarity of the Asian male nude.” Categorized by geographic location, time period, and subject matter, the collection is marked by a completist comprehensiveness of materials. I juxtapose my combing of this official archive with my personal stash of gay Asian materials from the mid-1990s: 1) safe sex campaigns targeting gay Asian men, 2) calendars featuring half-naked Asian men, and 3) a series of photographic self-portraits I made when I was twenty-two years old. I consider how these two archives—one aiming to legitimize a rice queen’s appreciation of the Asian male body, the other a community’s goal to reeducate Asian men to see themselves differently—draw on the mechanisms of fantasy by modeling for others how to look at Asian men anew.

Nguyen Tan Hoang is Associate Professor of Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of California, San Diego. His most recent book is A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation (Duke University Press, 2014).

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