The Color of Kink explores black women's representations and performances within American pornography and BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism) from the 1930s to the present, revealing the ways in which they illustrate a complex and contradictory negotiation of pain, pleasure, and power for black women. Based on personal interviews conducted with pornography performers, producers, and professional dominatrices, visual and textual analysis, and extensive archival research, Ariane Cruz reveals BDSM and pornography as critical sites from which to rethink the formative links between Black female sexuality and violence. She explores how violence becomes not just a vehicle of pleasure but also a mode of accessing and contesting power. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and media studies, Cruz argues that BDSM is a productive space from which to consider the complexity and diverseness of black women's sexual practice and the mutability of black female sexuality. Illuminating the cross-pollination of black sexuality and BDSM, The Color of Kink makes a unique contribution to the growing scholarship on racialized sexuality.
The Color of Kink explores black women's representations and performances within American pornography and BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism) from the 1930s to the present, revealing the ways in which they illustrate a complex and contradictory negotiation of pain, pleasure, and power for black women. Based on personal interviews conducted with pornography performers, producers, and professional dominatrices, visual and textual analysis, and extensive archival research, Ariane Cruz reveals BDSM and pornography as critical sites from which to rethink the formative links between Black female sexuality and violence. She explores how violence becomes not just a vehicle of pleasure but also a mode of accessing and contesting power. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and media studies, Cruz argues that BDSM is a productive space from which to consider the complexity and diverseness of black women's sexual practice and the mutability of black female sexuality. Illuminating the cross-pollination of black sexuality and BDSM, The Color of Kink makes a unique contribution to the growing scholarship on racialized sexuality.
The Color of Kink explores black women's representations and performances within American pornography and BDSM (bondage and discipline, domination and submission, and sadism and masochism) from the 1930s to the present, revealing the ways in which they illustrate a complex and contradictory negotiation of pain, pleasure, and power for black women. Based on personal interviews conducted with pornography performers, producers, and professional dominatrices, visual and textual analysis, and extensive archival research, Ariane Cruz reveals BDSM and pornography as critical sites from which to rethink the formative links between Black female sexuality and violence. She explores how violence becomes not just a vehicle of pleasure but also a mode of accessing and contesting power. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and media studies, Cruz argues that BDSM is a productive space from which to consider the complexity and diverseness of black women's sexual practice and the mutability of black female sexuality. Illuminating the cross-pollination of black sexuality and BDSM, The Color of Kink makes a unique contribution to the growing scholarship on racialized sexuality.
In everyday language, masochism is usually understood as the desire to abdicate control in exchange for sensation—pleasure, pain, or a combination thereof. Yet at its core, masochism is a site where power, bodies, and society come together. Sensational Flesh uses masochism as a lens to examine how power structures race, gender, and embodiment in different contexts. Drawing on rich and varied sources—from 19th century sexology, psychoanalysis, and critical theory to literary texts and performance art—Amber Jamilla Musser employs masochism as a powerful diagnostic tool for probing relationships between power and subjectivity. Engaging with a range of debates about lesbian S&M, racialization, femininity, and disability, as well as key texts such as Sacher-Masoch’s Venus in Furs, Pauline Réage’s The Story of O, and Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality, Musser renders legible the complex ways that masochism has been taken up by queer, feminist, and critical race theories. Furthering queer theory’s investment in affect and materiality, she proposes “sensation” as an analytical tool for illustrating what it feels like to be embedded in structures of domination such as patriarchy, colonialism, and racism and what it means to embody femininity, blackness, and pain. Sensational Flesh is ultimately about the ways in which difference is made material through race, gender, and sexuality and how that materiality is experienced.
A Taste for Brown Sugar boldly takes on representations of black women's sexuality in the porn industry. It is based on Mireille Miller-Young's extensive archival research and her interviews with dozens of women who have worked in the adult entertainment industry since the 1980s. The women share their thoughts about desire and eroticism, black women's sexuality and representation, and ambition and the need to make ends meet. Miller-Young documents their interventions into the complicated history of black women's sexuality, looking at individual choices, however small—a costume, a gesture, an improvised line—as small acts of resistance, of what she calls "illicit eroticism." Building on the work of other black feminist theorists, and contributing to the field of sex work studies, she seeks to expand discussion of black women's sexuality to include their eroticism and desires, as well as their participation and representation in the adult entertainment industry. Miller-Young wants the voices of black women sex workers heard, and the decisions they make, albeit often within material and industrial constraints, recognized as their own.
In The Black Body in Ecstasy, Jennifer C. Nash rewrites black feminism's theory of representation. Her analysis moves beyond black feminism's preoccupation with injury and recovery to consider how racial fictions can create a space of agency and even pleasure for black female subjects. Nash's innovative readings of hardcore pornographic films from the 1970s and 1980s develop a new method of analyzing racialized pornography that focuses on black women's pleasures in blackness: delights in toying with and subverting blackness, moments of racialized excitement, deliberate enactments of hyperbolic blackness, and humorous performances of blackness that poke fun at the fantastical project of race. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, critical race theory, and media studies, Nash creates a new black feminist interpretative practice, one attentive to the messy contradictions—between delight and discomfort, between desire and degradation—at the heart of black pleasures.
A provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges our ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom Fifty countries treat sex work as a legitimate job, and it has been legalized (with restrictions) in eleven others. The United States is one of the few industrialized nations that continues to criminalize prostitution and, as Melinda Chateauvert reveals, these laws have put sex workers at risk. Documenting five decades of sex-worker activism, Sex Workers Unite puts prostitutes, hustlers, call girls, strippers, and porn stars in the center of civil rights struggles. Although their presence has largely been ignored, sex workers have here been recast as key activists in struggles for gay liberation, women’s rights, reproductive justice, union organizing, and prison abolition. By foregrounding labor, Chateauvert reframes sex work as work and argues that sex-worker rights are ultimately human rights.
In Strip Club, Kim Price‒Glynn takes us behind the scenes at a rundown club where women strip out of economic need, a place where strippers’ stories are not glamorous or liberating, but emotionally demanding and physically exhausting. Strip Club reveals the intimate working lives of not just the women up on stage, but also the patrons and other workers who make the place run: the owner‒manager, bartenders, dejays, doormen, bouncers, housemoms, and cocktail waitresses. Price‒Glynn spent fourteen months at The Lion’s Den working as a cocktail waitress, and her uncommonly deep access reveals a conflict‒ridden workplace, similar to any other workplace, one where gender inequalities are reproduced through the everyday interactions of customers and workers. Taking a novel approach to this controversial and often misunderstood industry, Price‒Glynn draws a fascinating portrait of life and work inside the strip club.
Based on an extensive interview study with lesbian, transgender and queer BDSM practitioners, this book sheds new light on sexuality and current theoretical debates in gender and queer studies. It critically discusses practices of establishing consent, pushing boundaries, playing with gender and creating new kinds of intimacies and embodiments.
"From sapphire, mammy, and jezebel to the angry black woman, baby mama, and nappy-headed ho, black female iconography has had a long and tortured history in public culture. The telling of this history has long occupied the work of black female theorists--much of which has been foundational in situating black women within the matrix of sociopolitical thought and practice in the United States. Scandalize My Name builds upon the rich tradition of this work while taking a detour from conventional stereotype discourse to argue that black social life defies the limitations of representational thought and practice. By approaching the study of black female representation not as a mechanism of negative or positive valuation but as an opening onto a serious contemplation of the vagaries of black social life, Williamson makes a case for a radical black subject position that structures and is structured by an amorphous social order that ultimately destabilizes the very notion of "civil society." At turns memoir, sociological inquiry, literary analysis, and cultural critique, Scandalize My Name explores topics as varied as serial murder, reality television, Christian evangelism, and the novels of Toni Morrison, to advance black feminist practice as a modality through which black sociality is both theorized and made material."
How black women have personified art,expression,identity, and freedom through performance Winner, 2016 William Sanders Scarborough Prize, presented by the Modern Language Association for an outstanding scholarly study of African American literature or culture Winner, 2016 Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History, presented by the American Society for Theatre Research Winner, 2016 Errol Hill Award for outstanding scholarship in African American theater, drama, and/or performance studies, presented by the American Society for Theatre Research Tracing a dynamic genealogy of performance from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, Uri McMillan contends that black women artists practiced a purposeful self- objectification, transforming themselves into art objects. In doing so, these artists raised new ways to ponder the intersections of art, performance, and black female embodiment. McMillan reframes the concept of the avatar in the service of black performance art, describing black women performers’ skillful manipulation of synthetic selves and adroit projection of their performances into other representational mediums. A bold rethinking of performance art, Embodied Avatars analyzes daring performances of alterity staged by “ancient negress” Joice Heth and fugitive slave Ellen Craft, seminal artists Adrian Piper and Howardena Pindell, and contemporary visual and music artists Simone Leigh and Nicki Minaj. Fusing performance studies with literary analysis and visual culture studies, McMillan offers astute readings of performances staged in theatrical and quotidian locales, from freak shows to the streets of 1970s New York; in literary texts, from artists’ writings to slave narratives; and in visual and digital mediums, including engravings, photography, and video art. Throughout, McMillan reveals how these performers manipulated the dimensions of objecthood, black performance art, and avatars in a powerful re-scripting of their bodies while enacting artful forms of social misbehavior. The Critical Lede interview with Uri McMillan
A View from the Bottom offers a major critical reassessment of male effeminacy and its racialization in visual culture. Examining portrayals of Asian and Asian American men in Hollywood cinema, European art film, gay pornography, and experimental documentary, Nguyen Tan Hoang explores the cultural meanings that accrue to sexual positions. He shows how cultural fantasies around the position of the sexual "bottom" overdetermine and refract the meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality in American culture in ways that both enable and constrain Asian masculinity. Challenging the association of bottoming with passivity and abjection, Nguyen suggests ways of thinking about the bottom position that afford agency and pleasure. A more capacious conception of bottomhood—as a sexual position, a social alliance, an affective bond, and an aesthetic form—has the potential to destabilize sexual, gender, and racial norms, suggesting an ethical mode of relation organized not around dominance and mastery but around the risk of vulnerability and shame. Thus reconceived, bottomhood as a critical category creates new possibilities for arousal, receptiveness, and recognition, and offers a new framework for analyzing sexual representations in cinema as well as understanding their relation to oppositional political projects.
At turns autobiographical, political, literary, erotic, and humorous, Black Gay Man will spoil our preconceived notions of not only what it means to be black, gay and male but also what it means to be a contemporary intellectual. Both a celebration of black gay male identity as well as a powerful critique of the structures that allow for the production of that identity, Black Gay Man introduces the eloquent new voice of Robert Reid-Pharr in cultural criticism. At once erudite and readable, the range of topics and positions taken up in Black Gay Man reflect the complexity of American life itself. Treating subjects as diverse as the Million Man March, interracial sex, anti-Semitism, turn of the century American intellectualism as well as literary and cultural figures ranging from Essex Hemphill and Audre Lorde to W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon and James Baldwin, Black Gay Man is a bold and nuanced attempt to question prevailing ideas about community, desire, politics and culture. Moving beyond critique, Reid-Pharr also pronounces upon the promises of a new America. With the publication of Black Gay Man, Robert Reid-Pharr is sure to take his place as one of this country's most exciting and challenging left intellectuals.
Introducing the New Sexuality Studies is an innovative, reader-friendly anthology of original essays and interviews that introduces the field of sexuality studies to undergraduate students. Examining the social, cultural, and historical dimensions of sexualities, this anthology is designed to serve as a comprehensive textbook for sexualities and gender-related courses at the undergraduate level. The book’s contributors include both well-established scholars, including Patricia Hill Collins, Jeffrey Weeks, Deborah L. Tolman, and C.J. Pascoe, as well as emerging voices in sexuality studies. This collection will provide students of sociology, gender, and sexuality with a challenging and broad introduction to the social study of sexuality that they will find accessible and engaging.
Winner of the 2015 LGBT Studies award presented by the Lambda Literary Foundation Scholars of US and transatlantic slavery have largely ignored or dismissed accusations that Black Americans were cannibalized. Vincent Woodard takes the enslaved person’s claims of human consumption seriously, focusing on both the literal starvation of the slave and the tropes of cannibalism on the part of the slaveholder, and further draws attention to the ways in which Blacks experienced their consumption as a fundamentally homoerotic occurrence. The Delectable Negro explores these connections between homoeroticism, cannibalism, and cultures of consumption in the context of American literature and US slave culture. Utilizing many staples of African American literature and culture, such as the slave narratives of OlaudahEquiano, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass, as well as other less circulated materials like James L. Smith’s slave narrative, runaway slave advertisements, and numerous articles from Black newspapers published in the nineteenth century, Woodard traces the racial assumptions, political aspirations, gender codes, and philosophical frameworks that dictated both European and white American arousal towards Black males and hunger for Black male flesh. Woodard uses these texts to unpack how slaves struggled not only against social consumption, but also against endemic mechanisms of starvation and hunger designed to break them. He concludes with an examination of the controversial chain gang oral sex scene in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, suggesting that even at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century, we are still at a loss for language with which to describe Black male hunger within a plantation culture of consumption.
This one-of-a-kind book shares intimate personal stories of porn performers "coming out" to family, friends, partners, lovers, and community. The contributors represent a wide range of races, ethnicities, and genders. They include Joanna Angel, Annie Sprinkle, Betty Blac, Nina Hartley, Candida Royalle, Conner Habib, Dale Cooper, Christopher Zeischegg, Cindy Gallop, Drew DeVeaux, Erika Lust, Gala Vanting, Casey Calvert, Lorelei Lee, Stoya, Ignacio Rivera AKA Papí Coxxx, and many others. Jiz Lee is a veteran porn performer who had worked in over two-hundred projects within indie, queer, and hardcore gonzo adult genres. Lee is the editor of Coming Out Like a Porn Star, and co-editor of the Porn Studies Journal Special Issue: Porn and Labour.
Why hate Abercrombie? In a world rife with human cruelty and oppression, why waste your scorn on a popular clothing retailer? The rationale, Dwight A. McBride argues, lies in “the banality of evil,” or the quiet way discriminatory hiring practices and racist ad campaigns seep into and reflect malevolent undertones in American culture. McBride maintains that issues of race and sexuality are often subtle and always messy, and his compelling new book does not offer simple answers. Instead, in a collection of essays about such diverse topics as biased marketing strategies, black gay media representations, the role of African American studies in higher education, gay personal ads, and pornography, he offers the evolving insights of one black gay male scholar. As adept at analyzing affirmative action as dissecting Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, McBride employs a range of academic, journalistic, and autobiographical writing styles. Each chapter speaks a version of the truth about black gay male life, African American studies, and the black community. Original and astute, Why I Hate Abercrombie & Fitch is a powerful vision of a rapidly changing social landscape.
Summary: Challenging the conception of empowerment associated with the Black Power Movement and its political and intellectual legacies, this title contends that power can be found not only in martial resistance, but, surprisingly, where the black body has been inflicted with harm or humiliation.
In the late 1970s, the adult film industry began the transition from celluloid to home video. Smutty Little Movies traces this change and examines the cultural and legal efforts to regulate, contain, limit, or eradicate pornography. Drawing on a wide variety of materials, Smutty Little Movies de-centers the film text in favor of industry histories and contexts. In so doing, the book argues that the struggles to contain and regulate pleasure represent a primary starting point for situating adult video’s place in a larger history, not just of pornography, but of media history as a whole.
When most people think of prisons, they imagine chaos, violence, and fundamentally, an atmosphere of overwhelming brute masculinity. But real prisons rarely fit the “Big House” stereotype of popular film and literature. One fifth of all correctional officers are women, and the rate at which women are imprisoned is growing faster than that of men. Yet, despite increasing numbers of women prisoners and officers, ideas about prison life and prison work are sill dominated by an exaggerated image of men’s prisons where inmates supposedly struggle for physical dominance. In a rare comparative analysis of men’s and women’s prisons, Dana Britton identifies the factors that influence the gendering of the American workplace, a process that often leaves women in lower-paying jobs with less prestige and responsibility. In interviews with dozens of male and female officers in five prisons, Britton explains how gender shapes their day-to-day work experiences. Combining criminology, penology, and feminist theory, she offers a radical new argument for the persistence of gender inequality in prisons and other organizations. At Work in the Iron Cage demonstrates the importance of the prison as a site of gender relations as well as social control.

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