The Erotic in Context

Edited by M. Soraya García-Sánchez, Cara Judea Alhadeff and Joel Kuennen
ISBN: 978-1-84888-025-2
File type: eBook: pdf

The Erotic in Context seeks to elucidate the intricacies surrounding the concept of eroticism. Composed of essays ranging from studies of erotic representation in Zen Buddhism and Bollywood films to the representation and politicization of eroticism in Western religion and popular culture, this text takes a global view of the erotic and its import in varied discursive practices.


The Erotic as a critical field of investigation was inaugurated into Western discursive practices via the Surrealist appropriation of Georges Bataille's literature founded in psychoanalytic principles. Psychoanalysis, as is the case with Bataille, allowed for the previously taboo if not obscene to become important characteristic markers of the human experience and therefore worthy of rigorous investigation. This collection of essays originally presented at the Inter-Disciplinary 2009 Erotics 5 conference in Salzburg, Austria largely follows this tradition but offers a wider-scope indicative of the influences of global culture. The Erotic in Context forms a constellation amongst various disciplines that have challenged the normally rigid dichotomies of representation and experience of eroticism. Scholars from disparate disciplines and from around the world examine the presence of the erotic in film, literature, religion, psychoanalysis, visual arts and critical theory to question the current conceptions surrounding this contentious characteristic of human experience.

Table of Contents

M. Soraya García Sánchez, Cara Judea Alhadeff & Joel Kuennen

Section 1: Embodied Theory: Practicing the Erotic
The Spectacle of the Invisible: Re-Inhabiting Vulnerability
Cara Judea Alhadeff

Youth: Self, Sex and Spirit
Melissa Michaels and Mariah Tuffy

Writing from Breast Cancer Patients' Lives: The Erotic Significance of the Lived Nipple
Ana Porroche Escudero

On the Anachronistic Nature of Eroticism in the Light of the Current Mediatic Culture
Victor G. Rivas and Ferdinand Huesca

Section 2: Cinematics: Gender Representation across Time and Culture
The Image of the Figural and the Erotic in Silent Film
Jana Žilová

The Case of Two Nadias: Eroticizing the Eastern-European Female Body in Popular Euro-American Cinema at the Beginning of the 21st Century
Martina Vitackova

'I like blue!': The Representation of Female Desire in Contemporary Hindi Films
Hannah Klien

Section 3: The Erotics of Christ and Christianity
Sexuality and Ethical Personalism: Reflections on the Meaning of Sexuality in Scheler, Berdjaev and Wojtyla
Alicja A. Gescinska

With Continual Delight: Early-Modern Erotic Exegesis in Lady Grace Mildmay's Spiritual Meditations
Gaelan Gilbert

A Liturgical Liaison? The Possibilities and Risks of an Eroticized Body in 'The Annunciation'
Jamey Heit

Teresa, the Erotic Saint? A Journey to Paz Vega's Acting in Theresa: The Body of Christ
M. Soraya García Sánchez

Section 4: Pornography, Desire and Space
Dialectics of Desire and Revolution: Viénet's Girls of Kamaré
Joel Kuennen

Archi-Porn: Eroticism in Architectural Theory as it Relates to the Adult Film Genre
Steven Fleming

Is Erotic to Pornography as Culture is to Primitive? Racist Aesthetics and Female Sexuality in Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
Brigitte Fuchs

Section 5: Reconceiving Desire in Literature
Transgression as Transcendence: Eros and Taboo in the Poetry of Ikkyu's 'Red Thread' Zen
L. Michael Spath

A Study in the English Translation of Eroticism: The Case of Li Ang's Sha Fu
Yi-ping Wu

Erotic Bo(u)nds: Domination, Possession, Enclosure and the Self in Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe
Melissa K. Downes

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About the Author(s)/Editor(s)

M. Soraya García-Sánchez is a lecturer of the Department of Modern Philology at Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and a working writer and critic.

Cara Judea Alhadeff (PhD candidate, European Graduate School) has been a practicing photographer and writer for two decades in the United States and has exhibited and lectured internationally on the politics of the body.

Joel Kuennen is a contemporary and new media art critic and practicing artist in Chicago, IL.

Key Words
erotic culture, erotics, Bollywood romance, Inhabiting vulnerability, youth sexuality, erotic significance, anachronistic eroticism, eroticization of Eastern European women, eroticized body, desire,eroticism, Archi-Porn, racist aesthetics

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