Prof. Clarissa Smith's profile
Professor Clarissa Smith
Professor of Sexual Cultures
Associate Director of CRMCS
Co-editor of Porn Studies
Telephone: (0191) 515 2708
- MACM03 Consumption and Everyday Life
- MACM04 Film and Feminism
- MACM08 Dissertation
- MACM14 Feminism and Popular Culture
- MACM25 Research Methods
- MACM15 Representing Sexualities
- MAC301 Media Studies II
- MAC221 Sexual Cultures
My research has focused on the texts and contexts of sexually explicit media and sexual practices. It involves the examination of theories of identities and pleasures; citizenship; communities; understandings of media practice and policy; censorship; histories of representations; practices and politics of media research; intersections of class, race, gender and sexual orientation; development of porn studies; experiences of media uses and phenomenological accounts of the everyday. I welcome enquiries from new research students in any of my areas of interest.
I am a founder member of the Onscenity Network - an AHRC funded initiative - and with colleagues Feona Attwood, Clare Bale, Sarah Harman, Claire Harris and Julian Petley organized the Sexual Cultures conference at Brunel in April 2012. The network continues to thrive and we are keen to develop further collaborations with colleagues nationally and internationally.
I have been involved in a number of high profile court cases under Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and the Obscene Publications Act 1959 advising the defense and acting as expert witness to the Court.
- 2012 R v Walsh, acquitted August, Kingston Crown Court
- 2012 R v Peacock, acquitted January, Southwark Crown Court
- 2011 R v Webster, acquitted January, Stafford Crown Court
- 2010 R v Holland, case dropped by CPS following expert reports
I am also an editorial board member of the Journal of Gender Studies, Sexualities, Cine-Excess eJournal, and Participations
With the support of the University of Sunderland I have initiated the first large scale study of audiences engaging with sexual media and am, with Professors Feona Attwood and Martin Barker, currently writing up the results of our survey of more than 5000 respondents. A further study of young people and their responses to sexual media is still live, and if you're between the ages of 16 and 25 you can complete the survey at www.whatareyoulookingat.org.
- Books and Special Issues
2018 (forthcoming): The Routledge Companion to Media, Sex and Sexuality, co-edited with Feona Attwood and Brian McNair, London: Routledge
2014: co-editor with Feona Attwood, Investigating Young People's Sexual Cultures, book version of special issue of Journal of Sex Education, London: Routledge
2013: co-author with Niall Richardson and Angela Werndly, Studying Sexualities: Theories, Representations, Cultures. London: Palgrave MacMillan
2011: co-editor with Feona Attwood, Special Issue on Young People and Sexual Cultures, Journal of Sex Education
2010: co-editor with Michael Higgins and John Storey, Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press
2007: One for the Girls! The Pleasures and Practices of Pornography for Women Bristol: Intellect
- Journal Articles
2016 (with Feona Attwood): 'Porn Audiences Online', Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication (in press)
2014 (with Feona Attwood): 'Anti/pro/critical porn studies', Porn Studies 1.1-2: 7-23
2014 (with Feona Attwood): 'Leisure Sex: More Sex! Better Sex! Sex is F***ing Brillian! Sex, Sex, Sex, SEX!' in the German hardback Earnest & Algernon Magazine.
2013 (with Ruth Deller): 'Rereading the BDSM Romance: Reader Responses to Fifty Shades of Grey', special issue of Sexualities , 16.8, December, pp. 932-50
2011: Co-author with Feona Attwood, 'Lamenting Sexualization: Research, Rhetoric and the Story of Young People's "Sexualization" in the UK Home Office Review', Special Issue on Young People and Sexual Cultures, Journal of Sex Education 11.3, August, pp. 327-337
2010: Co-author with Feona Attwood, 'Extreme Concern: Regulating "Dangerous Pictures" in the UK', Journal of Law and Society (special issue), 37.1, March, pp. 171-188
2010: 'Pornographication: A Discourse for All Seasons', International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 6.1, pp. 103-108
2010: 'Review of Linda Papadopoulos, Sexualisation of Young Peope Review', Participations, 7.1
2009: 'Pleasure and Distance: Exploring Sexual Cultures in the Classroom' Sexualities, Special Issue on 'Teaching and Researching the Sexually Explicit', 12.5, pp. 568-585
2007: 'Designed for Pleasure: Style, indulgence and accessorized sex' European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10.2, pp. 167-184
2007: 'Pornography For Women, Or What They Don't Show You In Cosmo!' Journalism Studies, 8.4, pp. 529-538
2003: 'Fellas in Fully Frontal Frolics: Naked Men In For Women Magazine' Paragraph 26.1/2 (July), pp. 134-146
2002: 'Shiny Chests and Heaving G-Strings: A night out with the Chippendales' Sexualities 5.1 (February), pp. 67-89
2002: '"They're ordinary people, not aliens from the Planet Sex!": the mundane excitements of pornography for women' Journal of Mundane Behaviour 3.1 (February) at www.mundanebehavior.org
- Book Chapters
2017 (in press): 'Pornography' in Brian Francis and Teela Sanders (eds), Oxford Handbook of Sex Offences and Sex Offenders, Oxford: Oxford University Press
2016 (in press): 'A Mother's Love Cannot be Denied: Ma Mere' in Darren Kerr and Donna Perberdy (eds), Tainted Love: Screening Sexual Perversities, London: IB Tauris
2016: 'Breathing New Life into Old Fears: An Extreme Case in Stafford' in Johnny Walker et al (eds), The Cultural Mythology of the Snuff Movie, London: Bloomsbury Academic
2016: 'Sleazy Strip-Joints and Perverse Porn Circuses: The Remediation of Grindhouse Aesthetics in the porn productions of Jack the Zipper' in Austin Fisher and Johnny Walker (eds), Grindhouse: Transcultural Exchange on 42nd Street and Beyond, London: Bloomsbury Academic
2015: (with Feona Attwood and Martin Barker) 'Exploring XXX: Interests, Motivations and Themes in Porn Consumption' in Florian Voros (ed), Cultures Pornographiques: Anthologie des Porn Studies, Paris: Editions Amsterdam
2014: '"It's Important You Don’t Smell a Suit On It": Aesthetics of Alt Porn' in Enrico Biasin, Giovanna Maina, Federico Zecca (eds) Porn After Porn, Udine: Mimesis/University of Udine Press
2014: 'Sex and the Media' in Martin Conboy et al (eds), Routledge Companion to British Media, London: Routledge
2014: (with Feona Attwood and Martin Barker) 'Queering Porn Audiences' in Mary Lain, Katy Pilcher and Nicole Smith (eds), Queer Sex Work, London: Taylor & Francis
2014: (with Feona Attwood and Martin Barker) 'Teenage Kicks: Die Auseinandersetzung junger Menschen mit Pornografie, Ergebnisse des pornresearch.org-Fragebogens' in Lisa Andergassen, Till Claasesen, Katja Grawinkel, Anika Meier (eds), Explicit! Neue Perspektiven zu Pornographie und Gesellschaft, Berlin: Bertz + Fischer
2014: (with Martin Barker and Feona Attwood) 'Figuring the Porn Audience' in Lynn Comella and Shira Tarrant (eds), New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics, and the Law, 2 Volumes, Praeger
2013: (with Feona Attwood) 'Leisure sex: more sex! Better sex! Sex is fucking brilliant! Sex, Sex, Sex, SEX' in Tony Blackshaw (ed), The Routledge Handbook of Leisure Studies, London: Routledge
2013: (with Feona Attwood) 'Emotional Truths and Thrilling Side Shows: The Resurgence of Anti-Porn Feminism’ in Tristan Taormino, Celine Parrenas Shimizu, Constance Penley, Mireille Miller-Young (eds), The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure, New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York
2013: 'From Intimate Viewing To Public Sharing Of Sexual Experiences: Network Interactions In The Age Of Internet Pornography’ in Barbara Laborde (ed) (for publication in French) Colloque Reseaux, Sorbonne Press
2012: 'His Soul Shatters at About 0:23: Self-Scaring and Hyberbolic Shock in YouTube Reaction Videos’ (co-authored with Julia Kennedy, University College Falmouth), in Feona Attwood, Vincent Campbell, Ian Hunter and Sharon Lockyer (eds), Controversial Images, Palgrave MacMillan
2012: 'Reel Intercourse: Sex as Special Effect' in Darren Kerr and Claire Hines (eds) Hard To Swallow: Reading Pornography On Screen London: Wallflower
2012: '"I guess they got past their fear of porn": women viewing porn films' in Xavier Mendik (ed) Peep Shows Alterimage III, London: Wallflower Press
2010: 'British Sexual Cultures' in Michael Higgins, Clarissa Smith & John Storey (eds) Cambridge Companion to Contemporary British Culture Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press
2010: 'Reel Intercourse: Sex and the Performing Body' in Enrico Basin & Frederico Zecco (eds) in Il porno espanso. Dal cinema ai nuovi media (published in Italian) Udine/Milano: Mimesis
2009: 'Pleasing Intensities: Masochism and Affective Pleasures in Porn Short Fictions' in Feona Attwood (ed) Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualisation of Western Culture London: I.B Taurus
2005: 'A Perfectly British Business: Change, Stagnation and Continuities on the Top Shelf' in L. Sigel (ed) International Exposure: Perspectives on Modern European Pornography 1800-2000 University of Rutgers Press
1997: 'Talking Dirty in For Women Magazine' in J. Arthurs & J. Grimshaw (eds) Women's Bodies: Discipline and Transgression London: Cassell
- Invited Speaker
March 2016: 'More Than Just Flesh: The Porn Performer's Body in Action', Symposium on Cinema, Embodiment and Aesthetics of Pornography, University of Ken
October 2014: 'Porn Studies and Media Attention', research seminar, Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research, Birmingham City University
April 2014: Keynote address, Censorship and the Media: Where are we now? conference, University of Sunderland (London campus)
March 2014: Opening address, 'Moving Beyond Media Framings about Pornography', Annual Undergraduate Conference: Pornography in Contemporary Times and Spaces, University of Chester
March 2013: Keynote address, New Approaches to Gender, Film and Television: Histories and Futures in the Digital Age conference, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
January 2013: 'Teenage Kicks' at 'Explizit! - Perspektiven um Pornografie zu verhandeln' ('Explicit! - Coming to terms with Pornography') at the University for Applied Sciences, Potsdam, Germany
December 2012: 'Discourses of Addiction', Sexualisation, Sexual Consent and Porn Addiction Seminar, Open University, London
August 2012: Sex And Relationships, Research And Public Engagementat Open University, London
June 2012: 'More than just meat: The body of the Porn Star', at the Bodies: Flesh, Performance, Media, Disgust and Desire seminar, Birkbeck College, London
May 2012: 'Researching Engagements with Pornography', Special Seminar at St Lawrence University, Canton, USA
December 2011: Plenary Session: 'Pornification/ Sexualisation/Obscenity: Developing Research Agendas' with Martin Barker and Feona Attwood, Pornified?: Complicating debates about the 'sexualisation of culture': An International Conference, Institute of Education, London
November 2011: 'Men and Pornography: Victims And/Or Perpetrators?' College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists Conference, Kings College London
July 2011: 'Sexualisation and Ventriloquising Parents', Sexualisation: A Cause for Concern, British Sociological Association Seminar, University of Sheffield
May 2011: Keynote Presentation, 'Engaging with Pornography', Onscenity: Porn Audiences Event, London
April 2011: 'On/scenity: Uses and Misuses' with Susanna Paasonen & Feona Attwood, Film Forum 2011: VIII MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School, Gorizia, Italy
April 2011: 'Analyzing Pornography' with Susanna Paasonen & Feona Attwood, Film Forum 2011: VIII MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School, Gorizia, Italy
March 2011: Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Notion of Networks, A symposium project organized by Université Paris3/IRCAVSeptember 2010: Sexual Rights, Openess and Regularity Systems organised by the NGO Association for Progressive Communication at the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania
July 2010: Launch event for Onscenity Network, University of London Union, London
March 2010: Deliberative Seminar on the Place of Pornography in Relation to Sexual Health and Well-being, WISH, Edinburgh
April 2008: 'Extreme' Pornography and Discourses of Censorship, Critical Sexology, London
January 2008: The New Sex Crimes: Electronic Obscenity + Censorship, Institute for Contemporary Arts, London
June 2007: MeCCSA Women's Media Studies Network Seminar: Women and Pornography, University of Sunderland
May 2007: Researching and Teaching the Sexually Explicit: Ethics, Methodology and Pedagogy, De Montfort University, Leicester
December 2006: MeCCSA Women's Media Studies Network Seminar: Women, Sex and Media, Sheffield Hallam University
December 2004: Research Seminar on Sexual Consumerism at Glasgow School of Art
- Conference Papers (selected)
April 2014: Presented paper at 'Feminist Whores? Exploring Feminist Debates Around Violence, Sex Work and Pornography', University of Middlesex
April 2014: 'Prosecuting Images of BDSM: "Impressive Impacts" and the Obscenity Test', Gorizia Spring School, Italy
January 2014: 'Now, That's Impact', MeCCSA conference, University of Bournmouth
November 2013: 'Impressive Impacts and the Obscenity Test', CineExcess
June 2013: Panel on 'Technology, Embodiment and Performance' (with Feona Attwood and Allie Carr), Consoling Passions: International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism, De Montfort University
June 2013: '"I want Jeames Deen to Deen Me with his Deen": The multi-layered stardom of James Deen' (with Sarah Harman), Revisiting Star Studies, Newcastle University
June 2013: '"So sexy it hurts" The Canon? Tru XXX as Paratext' (with Sarah Harman), TV Fangdom: A Conference on Television Vampires, University of Northampton
April 2013: 'Young People and Pornography: Desire, Identity and Sexual Orientation', BSA Annual Conference, London
April 2013: '"So sexy it hurts" The Canon? Tru XXX as Paratext' (with Sarah Harman), Adventures in Textuality: Adaptation in the Twenty-First Century conference, University of Sunderland
March 2013: 'Legislating Extreme Pornography in the UK', XI MAGIS International Film Studies Spring School, Gorizia, Italy
November 2012: 'The Breathless Jogger: An Extreme Case in Stafford', The Cultural Mythology of Snuff, University of Bournemouth
August 2012: (with Feona Attwood) 'Reframing Porn', American Sociological Association Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado
July 2012: 'Everyday uses of pornography: findings from the pornresearch.org project', Crossroads: Association of Cultural Studies Conference, University of the Sorbonne, Paris
June 2012: 'Everyday uses of pornography: Young People and pornography', DigiCult 13, University of Salford
May 2012: 'A Mother’s Love Cannot Be Denied: Ma Mere', CineExcess VI, London
January 2012: 'Preliminary Findings from the PornResearch.org Project', MeCCSA, University of Bedfordshire
September 2011: 'Listening to the "Users" or: Researching Engagements with Online Pornography', Transforming Audiences 3, University of Westminster
July 2011: 'It’s not the content, it's how it is produced: labouring over ethics, morals and commerce in porn production', Moral Economies of Cultural Labour Conference, University of Leeds
June 2011: 'Seedy Strip-Joints and Perverse Porn Circuses', North East Film Regional Film Seminar, University of Sunderland
May 2011: 'Seedy Strip-Joints and Perverse Porn Circuses: The Aesthetics of the Porn Auteur', CineExcess V, London
May 2011: 'Studying Pornography: Feminism and Theory', MFTN Event, University of Manchester
April 2011: 'Creativity and Professionalism in Pornographic Labour' International Labour Process Conference, University of Leeds
April 2011: 'No Sex Please We’re Local!' Sexual Consumption and the City Conference, University of LeedsFebruary 2011: 'The Erotics of the Facial', Erotic Screen and Sound: Culture Media & Desire Conference, Griffiths University, Brisbane, Australia
January 2011: 'His Soul Shatters at About 0:23: Self-Scaring and Hyberbolic Shock in YouTube Reaction Videos' (with Julia Kennedy, University College Falmouth), MeCCSA Conference, University of Salford
January 2011: 'Onscenity Panel', MeCCSA Conference, University of Salford
December 2010: 'Wallowing in a cesspit of their own making: panic, regulation, men and pornography', Moral Panics in the Contemporary World, Brunel University
November 2010: Bodies in Pornographic Performance, The Texts of the Body: Generating Bodies: Discursive Sexed Productions, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
June 2010: 'Filled with Excitement: Eva and Her Pornographic Performances', Association for Cultural Studies Conference: Crossroads 2010, Hong Kong
May 2010: 'Bodies in Pornographic Performance', Cine-ExcessIV: the Fourth International Conference on Global Cult Film, London
March 2010: 'Pornographic Performances', Film Forum 2010: VIII MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School, Gorizia, Itay
November 2009: '"Do Porn Stars Act?" Talking Dirty: Sex and the Cinema', University of Leeds
May 2009: 'Five Dominatrices and a Thrashing: the Classification of Sadomasochism', Good Sex, Bad Sex, Budapest, Hungary
January 2008: 'Authenticity and the Problems of Pornographic Performance', MeCCSA Annual Conference, University of Cardiff
September 2007: 'I guess they got past their fear of porn, Transforming Audiences: Identity, Creativity, Everyday Life', University of Westminster
July 2006: 'The Sex Inspectors and the Mundane Realities of Sex', Crossroads, International Conference, Istanbul Bigli University
July 2006: Convenor of Sex, Sexuality and the Media Panel at Crossroads International Conference, Istanbul Bigli University
November 2005: 'Representing Sex on British Television', Media Transformations in a Changing World, School of Journalism and Communication, Wuhan University, China
September 2005: 'Recycling Dworkin: the pleasures of cut and paste theory', 9th Culture and Power International Conference Recycling Culture, Barcelona, Spain
July 2003: 'Designed for Pleasure', Design History Conference: Sex Object: Desire and Design in a Gendered World', Norwich School of Art and Design
July 2002: 'From Oppression to the Jelly Rabbit: Pornography and the Third Wave', Third Wave Feminism Conference, Exeter University
June 2002: 'No Sex Please We're Local! Regulating Sex in Cornwall', Conference: Controlling Bodies: the Regulation of Conduct 1650-2000, University of Glamorgan
March 2001: 'Looking at Male Bodies in For Women', Men's Bodies Conference, University of Nottingham
- Public Engagement (Events)
2016: 'Sex, Digital Technology and the City', invited public talk, STRELKA, Institute for Media, Architecture and Design, Moscow, 27 July.
2015: Roundtable discussion at the 'Being a Man' event, London Southbank, 27 November.
2015: 'Young People and Porn', presetnation at Sexpression event, Newcastle University, 1 November
2015: Panel on Pornography, Drift Festival, Amsterdam, 25 April.
2015: 'In Front of the Children ...' panel at Sick! Festival, Manchester, 8 March.
2015: 'Prurience' Performance at Sick! Festival, Brighton, 6 March.
2015: 'Fifty Shades of Grey and Violence against Women', Durham Student Union Feminist Society Debate, 26 February.
2015: 'Talking about Pornography', Science Museum Lates: Sexuality, 25 Feburary.
2015: Fifty Shades of Grey event at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle, 14 February.
2015: 'Research Pornography' gallery events, Institute of Sexology Exhibition, Wellcome Trust, London, 14–16 January.
2013: 'Pornography is good for us: Without it we would be a far more repressed society', a debate with Germaine Greer, Anna Span and Robert Lefever, organised by Intelligence Squared, Royal Institute, London, 23 April.
2012: Screens as Battle Grounds: Debating the BBFC and Media Regulation Today, British Film Institute, London, 13 November.
2012: 'Sense About Sex: A public event about sex myths and sex research’part of ESRC Social Science Festival, 6 November.
2011: 'Happy Bedfellows: Adult Channels and TV', Royal Television Society Debate, Newcastle, 25 October.
2011: 'Protecting children from commercial and other adult pressures: next steps for policy and business practice', Westminster Media Forum, London, 18 October.
2011: Presentation to Adult Industry Trade Association, London, 7 September.
2011: 'Online Parental Controls’ at Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, London, 20 June.
- Public Engagement (Media)
2015: Panel member on BBC radio 4's Woman's Hour Live Debate, London Southbank, 7 March
2013: Panel member for debate on Newsnight, BBC2, Wednesday 14 August
2012: Interviewed with Naomi Wolff on Women’s Hour, Radio 4, Wednesday 5 September
2012: Interviewed for article in GQ magazine June 2012 (see synopsis)2011: Interviewed for an article on the Bailey REview in the Guardian (author Jane Fae)
2011: On Radio 4's PM and again on Radio 5's Stephen Nolan Show, 4 June
2011: On Radio Shropshire's Jim Hawkins in the Morning, 'Pornography: A problem or a pleasure?', 2 March
2011: On Dean Beck's Show on JOY 94.9, 'Porn Research' (Melbourne, Australia), 1 March
2011: Took part in a documentary on the 20th anniversary of The Lovers' Guides for Channel 5
2010: 'What is it with porn?' Attitude magazine, November
2010: 'Fight Club: Is Pornography Damaging to Society?' The Times Eureka Supplement, 5 August
2010: 'Corruption' of the Innocent', Times Higher Education, Online edition, http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=410913&c=1, 20 March
9 March 2008: 'Meet the New Radicals: The Top 30 Women to Watch', Louise France and Eva Wiseman, The Observer, voted number 8 in the list, 9 March
2008: 'Sex Manuals Still a Guiding Light?' Lisa Scott, Metro, 23 January
2007: 'Where's the Evidence?' Clarissa Smith, The Guardian's Comment is Free, 24 December
2007: Participant on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, 'Women's Relationship with Pornographic Images', part of the 'Sex Lives of Us' season, 19 September
2007: 'Women who love to watch porn', Lisa Scott, Metro, 13 June
2007: Interviewed by Nina Power for an article in New Humanist, 'Naughty by Nice', March/April
2007: 'The Study of Naked Truths Hits a Brick Wall', Rebecca Attwood, Times Higher Education Supplement, 30 March