Mark S. Bonham Centre for
Sexual Diversity Studies

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Featuring INF1005H: Sexual Representation Collection Student Projects

February 13th 2019

If you’ve been following our events calendar, you’ll know that this year the Sexual Representation Collection has been holding many events with a variety of guests. But did you know that there is also a SRC class that has been working on creatively showcasing objects from the collection? INF1005H has recently created a twitter account featuring these student projects. They range from collages of male intimacy in sports, to nipple stickers representing the history of nipples in Playboy centerfolds, to needlepoints of kinky implements inspired by Lord Morpheous’ bookHow to Be Kinky, and many more! Keep an eye out as the account continues to update with new projects.

Here’s a quotation from the class syllabus that sheds light on the aims and objectives of these projects:  “The purpose of this class is to think creatively and critically about how we engage with “bad objects” – by which I mean objects that challenge traditional archival storytelling, that authority figures consider “risky,” or that are often forgotten, ignored, and uncataloged by traditional libraries and archives. The class will focus on an archive of pornography, the Sexual Representation Collection (SRC) at the University of Toronto. The Collection has a particular emphasis on feminist, queer, and kink porn. We will explore the politics and performance of display in conveying historical contexts of production and consumption but also allow for contemporary interpretations of our encounters with these objects today.

We will ask: how and for whom do these objects “work”? for which publics and for what purposes? While the perception is that this collection is intended for scholars, particularly historians, how might our sense of a pornography archive be mobilized for alternative arrangement and for a different politics of circulation? How do we make sexual pleasure central to the archival activity of these objects? How might the relation between these objects, gender, sexuality, and race be theorized? How does a collection like the SRC complicate traditional notions of the archive and historiography? How do we make these objects convey more than just information?” – INF1005H Syllabus

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