Obscenity, pornography and censorship, a book online

The Editions of the University of Brussels come to publishObscenity, pornography and censorship. The staging of sexuality and their (dis)qualification (Nineteenth-Twentieth centuries), the book that you found ONLINE !

The presentation of the publisher

Obscenity and pornography referred, not to the essence of certain forms of staging of sexuality but to the qualification – moral, religious, legal, literary, etc.– that is made by the social actors. The challenge is most often to justify their freedom of movement or, on the contrary, the need of the supervision of their production and dissemination. Censorship – here understood in the sense of flexible disqualification of a content – is thus one of the criteria of definition of pornography and obscenity.

From the case from the Nineteenth century to the present day, the book highlights the diversity of the phenomena of labeling, their terms, their authors, their logics, and their consequences. The contributions brought together reveal the mobilizations that lead to the classification as obscene a work or a deed – book, comic strip, film, photo, drawing, poem, piece of theatre, scenes of a music-hall, etc. – as well as the plurality of issues – moral, political, cultural, scientific, etc. – which attach to those qualifications. He stresses the multiplicity of the arguments advanced to justify the boundaries thus drawn between the “reprehensible” and ” tolerable “. Illustrating the different forms that can take, depending on the contexts and the objects, the control of the products to be obscene or pornographic, contributions also allow us to capture the effects of labelling and, in particular, their bypass or their re-appropriation.

Anchored in multiple disciplines (legal, literary, historical, sociological, philosophical, psychoanalytic…), the authors focus on a constructivist approach, oriented towards empirical studies and socio-historical, attentive to the struggles of the actors of the social space. Their contributions are articulated around common issues or cross-cutting : the categories, on which are based the (dis)qualifications, through an approach of law ; the centrality of cultural issues in the (dis)qualification of the scenes of sexuality and the consequences of these processes, which capture how the forms of representations of sexuality are influenced by the discourses to which they are subject. The last part offers a gaze shift, in treating of the way in which the staging of sexuality may be appropriate, that is to say, re-defined, in the perspectives of activists, questioning of the social order, to challenge or reaffirmation of power relations.

To the extent possible, and by taking advantage of the opportunities offered by electronic publication, different contributions are based on illustrations. The book gives a more direct access to a part of the stagings of sexuality that have been the subject of criticism, controversy and censorship. The reader will also be able and himself to measure and assess, and why not to reject or to share, these (dis)qualifications that this book wants to analyze.

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