Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography by Susanna Paasonen

By Susanna Paasonen

Electronic creation instruments and on-line networks have dramatically elevated the final visibility, accessibility, and variety of pornography. Porn should be accessed at no cost, anonymously, and in a likely unending variety of niches, types, and codecs. In Carnal Resonance, Susanna Paasonen strikes past the standard debates over the criminal, political, and ethical points of pornography to deal with on-line porn in a media old framework, investigating its modalities, its impact, and its visceral and nerve-racking characteristics. Countering theorizations of pornography as impassive, affectless, indifferent, and chilly, Paasonen addresses stories of porn principally during the idea of have an effect on as intestine reactions, intensities of expertise, physically sensations, resonances, and ambiguous emotions. She hyperlinks those investigations to concerns of method (ways of theorizing and interpreting on-line porn and affect), questions of materiality (bodies, applied sciences, and inscriptions), and the evolution of on-line pornography.

Paasonen dicusses the advance of on-line porn, targeting the determine of the porn customer, and considers user-generated content material and novice porn. She maps out the modality of on-line porn as hyperbolic, over the top, stylized, and repetitive, arguing that literal readings of the style misunderstand its dynamics and charm. and she or he analyzes viral video clips and severe and surprise pornogaphy, arguing for the centrality of disgust and disgrace within the affective dynamics of porn. Paasonen's research makes transparent the an important function of media technologies--digital construction instruments and networked communications in particular--in the kinds that porn takes, the resonances it stirs, and the reports it makes attainable.

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Additional info for Carnal Resonance: Affect and Online Pornography

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With affect, I want to tackle the simultaneous “shapelessness” and sharpness of sensation. Affective Introduction 27 sensations can be associated with and defined through numerous emotions, but such definitions simplify the intensities in question. Affects can be experienced as sharp jolts and gut feelings. Whether such a jolt is a matter of surprise, startle, disgust, titillation, arousal, shame, or any combination thereof is a different matter. Thinking Beside To paraphrase Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick (2003, 8), my project is not one of “thinking against” or “beyond”—that is, focusing on critiquing certain conceptual stances, theoretical frameworks, or claims.

The filthy and the disgusting resist mainstreaming and domestication, and as the chapter suggests, they help to maintain the status of pornography as a forbidden fruit that requires acts of censorship and regulation. Finally, chapter 7 continues the discussion of affective dynamics and materiality that is raised in the previous chapters while summarizing the central points of the book as a whole. The individual chapters conceptualize the productivity and force of pornography, as well as the crucial role that media technologies (and digital production tools and networked communications in particular) play in the forms that porn takes, the resonances it involves, and the experiences that it facilitates.

However, given the contingency of porn (not least in its online incarnations), analytical approaches and theorizations need to be equally on the move. I also believe that research needs to try to address the moments in which words fail to grasp what resonates and moves us in our encounters with porn. In the following chapters, I draw on the work of antipornography and anti-antipornography feminists, postcolonial scholars focusing on representation and identity politics, new materialist thinkers arguing for the “death of representation,” theorizations of scopophilia, considerations Introduction 29 of sensory attachments to images, netporn criticism, histories of literary pornography, and many other things.

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