Pornography: Aesthetics, Politics, and Pleasure

at Brooklyn Institute for Social Research - Online

Course Details
$315 3 seats left
Start Date:

Thu, Oct 22, 6:30pm - Nov 12, 9:30pm Eastern Time (4 sessions)

Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Samantha Hill

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

Pornography is one of humanity’s oldest, and most enduring artifacts. Variously celebrated and demonized, it has decorated sumptuous palaces and been furtively sold under pain of arrest. 

In the modern United States, it is kept studiously out of sight, and yet is simultaneously omnipresent and accessible in its most explicit forms with a simple click of the mouse. What is pornography? What does it do? Why do we treat it so inconsistently? Why is pornography legal in some countries and censored in others? What are the aesthetics of pornography? What are its narrative structures? How do we experience and represent sexual pleasure?

In this course, we will examine the history of pornography and how pornography as an expression of eroticism has developed over time. Reading texts from Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Drucilla Cornell, Carol Queen, George Bataille, Michel Foucault, Laura Kipnis, Jennifer Nash among others, we will explore pornography as a medium and genre from early print pornography to amateur and internet porn in order to better understand how pornography relates to desire, gender equality, race and class relations, freedom of speech, and sexual liberty. 

Does pornography objectify bodies and creates false images of sexual performance? Or, does it create pleasure and offer a medium to re-signify sexual relations by expanding the erotic imagination? In addition to theoretical and philosophical texts, we will read some pornographic stories and watch scenes from films which contain explicit material like In The Realm of the Senses and Nymphomaniac.

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

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Refund Policy

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

Start Dates (1)
Start Date Time Teacher # Sessions Price
6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time Samantha Hill 4 $315
This course consists of multiple sessions, view schedule for sessions.
Thu, Oct 29 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time Samantha Hill
Thu, Nov 05 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time Samantha Hill
Thu, Nov 12 6:30pm - 9:30pm Eastern Time Samantha Hill

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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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