Porn Archives Review

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Heather Love wrote a review of Porn Archives for Public Books—it’s titled “Pornography Porn.” You can read the full essay here.

Porn Archives addresses new contexts for the production, distribution, and reception of graphic sexual imagery, and it is focused on questions of archival practices, including collecting, display, circulation, classification, and preservation. Drawing on Walter Kendrick’s The Secret Museum (1987), Dean argues in the introduction that it is archival practice itself—specifically the housing of the erotic artifacts collected in the discovery of Pompeii—that gives rise to the idea of pornography. Given how much of my erotic reading material has been drawn from Library of Congress HQ 76, I appreciated the inclusion of a bibliography of public porn archives, and not one but two essays devoted to library science (one featuring an image of a semen stain on a library copy of Dirty Looks: Women, Pornography, Power [1993]).”

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