GSWS882 - SEX AGAINST CITYSCAPE

Important legal and demographic changes in the U.S. in the 1960s enabled the production and public screening of homosexual pornography. These films were shown in theatres that no longer drew a mainstream audience, and a distinct West Coast and East Coast aesthetic emerged. The nascent commercial gay porn film industry developed in tension with the emergent gay liberation politics; new films were advertised in the gay press that critically examined the political and social value of this form of homosexual representation. This course will use the comparative case study of the reception of two films - Broadway choreography-turned-pornographer Wakefield Poole's Boys in the Sand (1971) and sex club owner and porn star Fred Hastead's L.A. Plays Itself (1972)- against the socio-political geography of New York and Los Angeles. Students will develop skills in: 1) the critical analysis of non-mainstream film and 2) the use of the alternative press as an historical archive. The discussion will be informed by concepts related to: sex and the built environment; the role of public space in development of sexual community; and the role of alternative media in the production of imagined community. The last weeks of the course will consider how current web-based pornography continues or alters aspects of the tradition of renegade sexual imaginaries and spaces.
M 0500PM-0700PM
ANNENBERG SCHOOL 224
  • COMM882301

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    The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

    The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

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