This panel aims at bringing together papers that focus on the making and unmaking of sexuality through various forms of popular culture in the ways sexuality is used as a tool for communicating moral meanings, for exploring boundaries and for self-expression.
This panel aims at bringing together a range of empirical studies that focus on the making and unmaking of sexuality through various forms of popular culture. From print media, local films, TV, social media and other spaces of popular culture like fashion and advertising, sexuality is used as a tool for communicating moral meanings, for exploring boundaries and for self-expression. From the popular Dear Dolly columns half way the previous century up to the current flamboyant display of celebrities, sexuality is imagined and reimagined over the decades in many different ways. Sexuality is a personal affair and it is a particular dense transfer point of cultural, religious and social sensibilities through which groups and individuals distinguish themselves vis-a-vis others. Sexuality is therefore often studied as dependent on relations of power that limit self-expression to normative conceptions. Instead, we invite papers that focus on the ways normative structures both limit and enable expressions of sexuality, as we believe that popular media provide an analytical vantage point to study this ambiguous fashioning of sexuality. We invite papers that investigate how boundaries are explored and how new ways of envisioning sexuality are sounded out. What kind of aesthetic choices and sensorial practices are implicated in popular culture? How are qualities such as pleasure, chastity, self-care, affection, self-indulgence and much more, mediated, by whom, for whom? We welcome historically grounded papers that discuss the link between sexuality and popular culture highlighting continuity and change.