Organized Panel Session
Pornography’s impacts on transnational models of media aesthetics and governance have been well documented from a Euro-American perspective. This panel draws upon a forthcoming special issue of Porn Studies to rethink the cultural impact of pornography from an East Asian perspective. Exploring how various forms of pornographic texts are made and consumed in and across East Asia, we examine under-reported cultures of pornography to challenge and fine-tune existing academic research paradigms. Overall, the panel aims to think through how the lived experience of producing and consuming various pornographies throughout East Asia may extend, nuance, challenge, or even affirm the dominant Euro-American understandings of pornography that are becoming axiomatic within porn studies. To do this, Baudinette draws upon interviews with Japanese and Chinese porn consumers to explore how fandom for the porn star Koh Masaki reveals fantasies of Asian gay masculinity that circulate throughout East Asia. Jacobs investigates “smoldering pornographies” in China within the context of rising censorship, thinking through the role of pornography as a form of LGBTQ activism. Jones similarly examines how the social media service Tumblr provided South Korean gay men a safe space to explore their stigmatized sexual identities through the production and circulation of DIY pornography. Santos then interrogates the development of a “pornographic turn” within Japanese “Boys Love” media to reveal how heterosexual pornography has influenced these homoerotic texts for women. Takeyama then draws upon her experience as an East Asian feminist ethnographer of Japan’s porn industry to respond to the papers in the panel.