Lust and the frenzy of the visible

The film scholar is Linda Williams a pioneer of academic studies regarding pornography and author of the cult book “Hard Core: Power, Pleasure and the Frenzy of the Visible” published in 1989.
Williams main academic areas of interest are feminist theory, visual culture, film history, film genres and melodrama while highlighting gender, race and sexuality. She is going to present some ideas from her book “Screening Sex” after the award show on Monday at Humboldt-University. We are looking forward to welcome this iconic feminist in honor of the 10th anniversary of PorYes Award.

Motion and e-motion: lust and the ‘frenzy of the visible’

How and why did pornography become the lust-inducing genre we are familiar with today? Why did it narrow its once wide purpose of social critique to only producing sexual arousal and satisfaction? While many scholars have assumed that an encroaching realism of both media and subject matter have brought about this familiarity, this article follows the work of Jonathan Crary to suggest that one overlooked factor might be an important change that took place in the very regime of the visible over the course of the 19th century. During this period a distanced, centered and contemplative geometrical perspective gave way to a bewildering array of subjective, physiological bodily effects and sensations produced within the bodies of observers. In approaching this question from the perspective of the early 21st century and taking account of models of both rupture and continuity, it becomes possible to understand moving-image pornography as a genre whose primary emotion was lust.

A cooperation of the Institut für Kulturwissenschaft, Brigitta Kuster, junior professor for cultural film sciences with a focus on Gender, Humboldt-University of Berlin with PorYes – Feminist Porn Award Academy. Supported by  queer_feminist Referat of the AStA at the Humboldt-University

The lecture is in Englisch with german translation. Introduction and Moderation: Dr. Laura Méritt

Date: 21th of October 2019 / Time: 7 pm / Venue: Senatsraum, Humboldt University