Professor
Clarissa Smith


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Professor of Sexual Cultures

I'm based in the Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies. My research revolves around issues relating to sex, sexual identities and sexual representations in contemporary culture. I teach on Media undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and supervise PhD students on subjects relating to pornography and other taboo media. I am interested in supervising more!

I am founding co-editor of Porn Studies and a member of the editorial boards of Journal of Gender Studies, Sexualities and Participations.

Teaching and supervision

My research has focused on the texts and contexts of sexually explicit media and sexual practices and elements of this inform my teaching – including exploration of theories of identities and pleasures; citizenship; communities; understandings of media practice and policy; censorship; histories of representations; practices and politics of media research; intersections of class, race, gender and sexual orientation; development of porn studies; experiences of media uses and phenomenological accounts of the everyday.

I have taught and developed modules including:

Undergraduate: Media Studies, Sexual Cultures, Celebrity Cultures and Children's Television.

Postgraduate: Consumption and Everyday Life, Feminism and Film, Research Methods and Representing Sexualities.


Research interests for potential research students

I welcome enquiries from new doctoral research students in any of my areas of interest, which include subjects relating to pornography and other taboo media. I am also interested in projects examining gendered representations; sexualisation and mediated sexualities; audiences; and censorship.

I am the faculty contact for applications to the ESRC NINE Doctoral Training Partnership.

Research

My research has centred on sexual media and representations. I am interested in the textual formations of pornography and how those play out across different technologies; in how people access and engage with pornographic materials and with other forms of sexualized products. I’m also intrigued by the constant demands for increasing regulation and censorship.

I have written about the problems of attempts to legislate against pornography and have been active in opposing measures which seek to criminalise the imagination. Alongside this work, I have written about porn-star performances, the meanings of masochism in sexual storytelling, the idea of ‘authenticity’ in pornography, and how audiences speak about the sexual content they like - you can find details of that research at pornresearch.org.

I’m currently working on a project, with more than 40 colleagues from across the world, which seeks to explore audience understandings of Game of Thrones – details of that research and the questionnaire are available at questeros.org.

Publications

Number of items: 61.

Article

Smith, Clarissa, Attwood, Feona and Barker, Martin (2018) ‘I’m just curious and still exploring myself’: Young people and pornography. New Media and Society. ISSN 14614448

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2014) Anti/pro/critical porn studies. Porn Studies, 1 (1-2). pp. 7-23. ISSN 2326-8743

Attwood, Feona and Smith, Clarissa (2014) Porn Studies: an introduction. Porn Studies, 1 (1-2). pp. 1-6. ISSN 2326-8743

Deller, R. A. and Smith, Clarissa (2013) Reading the BDSM romance: Reader responses to Fifty Shades. Sexualities, 16 (8). pp. 932-950. ISSN 1363-4607

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2011) Lamenting Sexualization; Research, Rhetoric And The Story Of Young People's Sexualization In The UK Home Office Review. Journal of Sex Education, 11 (3). pp. 327-337. ISSN 1468-1811

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2011) Special Issue on Young People and Sexual Cultures. Journal of Sex Education, 11 (3). ISSN 1468-1811

Smith, Clarissa (2011) Reel Intercourse: Sex as Special Effect, in Darren Kerr and Claire Hines (eds). Hard To Swallow? Reading Pornography on Screen.

Attwood, Feona and Smith, Clarissa (2011) Investigating young people's sexual cultures: an introduction. Sex Education: Sexuality, Society and Learning, 11 (3). pp. 235-242. ISSN 1468-1811

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2011) Lamenting sexualization: research, rhetoric and the story of young people's ‘sexualization’ in the UK Home Office review. Sex Education, 11 (3). pp. 327-337. ISSN 1468-1811

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Fight Club: Is Pornography Damaging to Society? Times: Eureka Magazine.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Corruption of the Innocent. The Times Higher Education Supplement.

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2010) Extreme Concern: Regulating 'Dangerous Pictures' in the UK. Journal of Law and Society, 37 (1). pp. 171-188. ISSN 0263323x

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2010) Extreme Concern: Regulating 'Dangerous Pictures' in the UK. Journal of Law and Society.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Extreme Concern: Regulating Dangerous Pictures in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society, 37 (1). pp. 171-88.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Pornographication: A Discourse for All Seasons. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, 6 (1). ISSN 1740-8296

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Extreme Concern: Regulating ‘Dangerous Pictures’ in the United Kingdom. Journal of Law and Society Special Issue: Special Issue: Regulating Sex/Work: From Crime Control to Neo-liberalism?, 37. pp. 171-188.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Pornographication: A discourse for all seasons. International Journal of Media & Cultural Politics, 6 (1). pp. 103-108. ISSN 17408296

Smith, Clarissa (2009) Pleasure and distance: Exploring sexual cultures in the classroom. Sexualities, 12 (5). pp. 568-585. ISSN 1363-4607

Smith, Clarissa (2009) Pleasure and distance: exploring sexual cultures in the classroom. Sexualities, 12 (5). pp. 568-585. ISSN 1363-4607

Smith, Clarissa (2009) Review of Earle and Sharp, Sex in Cyberspace: Men Who Pay for Sex. Feminist Media Studies. ISSN 1468-0777

Smith, Clarissa (2007) Pornography for Women, or What They Don't Show you in Cosmo! Journalism Studies, 8 (4). pp. 529-538. ISSN 1461-670X

Smith, Clarissa (2007) Designed for Pleasure: Style, Indulgence and Accessorized Sex. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10 (2). pp. 167-184. ISSN 13675494

Smith, Clarissa (2002) Shiny Chests and Heaving G-Strings: A Night Out with The Chippendales. Sexualities, 5 (1). pp. 67-89. ISSN 13634607

Smith, Clarissa (2002) Shiny Chests and Heaving G-strings: A Night Out with the Chippendales. Sexualities, 5 (1). pp. 67-89. ISSN 1363-4607

Smith, Clarissa Designed for Pleasure: Style, Indulgence and Accessorized Sex European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2007, Volume 10. Number 2, pp.167-184. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 10 (2). pp. 167-184. ISSN 1367-5494

Book Section

Smith, Clarissa (2017) ‘A Mother’s Love Cannot Be Denied: Ma Mere’. In: Tainted Love: Screening Sexual Perversities. I B Tauris, London, pp. 159-176. ISBN 9781780761954

Smith, Clarissa and Taylor Harman, Sarah (2017) ”I want James Deen to Deen Me with his Deen”: The multi-layered stardom of James Deen. In: Revisiting Star Studies. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 261-278. ISBN 9781474404310

Smith, Clarissa, Attwood, Feona and Barker, Martin (2017) Porn Audiences Online. In: Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication. Peter Lang, New York, pp. 235-244. ISBN 978-1-4331-3956-7

Smith, Clarissa (2016) Sleazy Strip-Joints and Perverse Porn Circuses: The Remediation of Grindhouse Aesthetics in the porn productions of Jack the Zipper. In: Grindhouse: Transcultural Exchange on 42nd Street and Beyond. Bloomsbury, London, pp. 217-235. ISBN 9781628927450

Smith, Clarissa (2016) Pornography. In: The Oxford Handbook of Sex Offences and Sex Offenders. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 9780190213633

Smith, Clarissa (2016) Breathing New Life into Old Fears: Extreme Pornogrpahy and the Wider Politics of Snuff. In: Snuff Real Death and Screen Media. Bloomsbury, pp. 81-104. ISBN 9781628921144

Smith, Clarissa, Attwood, Feona and Barker, Martin (2015) Figuring the Porn Audience. In: New Views on Pornography: Sexuality, Politics and the Law. Praeger, Santa Barbara USA, pp. 267-285. ISBN 9781440828058

Smith, Clarissa (2015) Sex and sexuality in British media. In: The Routledge Companion to British Media History. Routledge, London, pp. 133-146. ISBN 9780415537186

Smith, Clarissa (2014) ‘It’s Important You Don’t Smell a Suit On It’: Aesthetics of Alt Porn. In: Porn After Porn. Mimesis, Udine Italy. ISBN 8857523594

Smith, Clarissa and Attwood, Feona (2013) Emotional Truths and Thrilling Slide Shows: The Resurgence of Antiporn Feminism. In: The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure. The Feminist Press New York, New York, pp. 41-57. ISBN 9781558618183

Smith, Clarissa and Kennedy, Julia (2013) ‘His Soul Shatters at About 0:23: Self-Scaring and Hyberbolic Shock in YouTube Reaction Videos’. In: Controversial Images. Palgrave MacMillan, London, pp. 239-253. ISBN 978-0-230-28405-0

Smith, Clarissa (2013) More Sex! Better Sex! Sex is F*cking Brilliant! Sex, Sex, Sex, SEX. In: The Routledge International Handbook of Leisure Studies. Routledge, London, pp. 325-336. ISBN 0415697174

Smith, Clarissa (2012) I guess they got over their fear of porn: women watching porn films. In: Alterimage III: Peep Shows: Essays In Visual Erotica. Wallflower Press, London and New York. ISBN 978-1906660352

Smith, Clarissa (2011) Reel Intercourse: Sex and the Performing Body. In: Hard To Swallow: Reading Pornography On Screen. Wallflower, London. ISBN 978-0-231-16210-4

Smith, Clarissa (2011) Regimes of value and the aesthetics of controversial images. In: Controversial Images. Palgrave Macmillan, UK. (In Press)

Smith, Clarissa (2010) British Sexual Cultures. In: The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9780521683463

Smith, Clarissa (2009) Pleasing Intensities: Masochism and Affective Pleasures in Porn Short Fictions. In: Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualisation of Western Culture. I.B. Tauris, London. ISBN 9781845118273

Smith, Clarissa (2005) A Perfectly British Business: Stagnation, Continuities and Change on the Top Shelf. In: International Exposure: Perspectives on Modern European Pornography 1800-2000. Rutgers University Press, pp. 146-172. ISBN 0813535190

Conference or Workshop Item

Smith, Clarissa (2011) The Erotics of the Facial. In: MeCCSA Conference 2011, 12 - 14 Jan 2011, Communication, Cultural and Media Studies Research Centre, University of Salford.

Smith, Clarissa and Kennedy, Julia (2011) His Soul Shatters at About 0:23: Self-Scaring and Hyberbolic Shock in YouTube Reaction Videos. In: MeCCSA 2011, 12 - 14 Jan 2011, School of Media, Music and Performance at the University of Salford..

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Wallowing in a cesspit of their own making: panic, regulation, men and pornography. In: Moral Panics in The Contemporary World, 10 - 12 Dec 2010, Brunel University London.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Sexual Rights, Openess and Regulatory System. In: United Nations Internet Governance Forum, 14-17 Sep 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Problems with Pornographication. In: Onscenity Network Launch Event, 5 Jul 2010, London.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Filled with Excitement: Eva and her Pornographic Performances. In: Association for Cultural Studies Conference: Crossroads 2010, 17 – 21 Jun 2010, Hong Kong.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Pornographic Performances. In: FilmForum 2010 VIII MAGIS International Film Studies Spring School, 19 - 24 Mar 2010.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Pornography and Well-being. In: Deliberative Seminar on the Place of Pornography in Relation to Sexual Health and Well-being, Mar 2010, Edinburgh.

Smith, Clarissa (2010) Bodies in Pornographic Performance. In: Cine-Excess IV: the Fourth International Conference on Global Cult Film, London, 29 Apr -1 May 2010, London.

Smith, Clarissa (2009) Do Porn Stars Act? In: Talking Dirty: Sex and the Cinema, 13 - 14 Nov 2009, University of Leeds.

Smith, Clarissa (2009) Five Dominatrices and a Thrashing: the Classifications of Sadomasochism. In: Good Sex Bad Sex; sex law crime and ethics conference, 4 - 6 May 2009, Budapest, Hungary.

Smith, Clarissa (2008) Extreme Pornography and Discourses of Censorship "On Being an apologist for porn". In: Critical Sexology Seminar, 9 Apr 2008.

Smith, Clarissa (2008) The New Sex Crimes: Electronic Obscenity and Censorship. In: The New Sex Crimes: Electronic Obscenity + Censorship, 19 Jan 2008, ICA, London.

Book

Smith, Clarissa, Werndly, Angela and Richardson, Niall (2013) Studying Sexualities: Theories, Representations, Cultures. Palgrave MacMillan, London. ISBN 9780230220423

Smith, Clarissa, Werndly, Angela and Richardson, NIall (2012) Studying Sexualities: Theories, Representations Cultures. Palgrave Macmillan, UK. ISBN 9780230220430

Smith, Clarissa, Higgins, Michael and Storey, John (2010) Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9780521683463

Smith, Clarissa (2009) British Sexual Cultures. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Smith, Clarissa (2007) One for the girls!: the pleasures and practices of reading women's porn. Intellect Books, Bristol. ISBN 9781841501642

This list was generated on Mon Dec 10 20:04:46 2018 GMT.

Areas of expertise

Sexually explicit media and their audiences
Sexual practices
Porn studies

Further information

I am the author of numerous publications relating to sexually explicit media. My research underpins my involvement in a number of high profile court cases under Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and the Obscene Publications Act 1959 where I advised the defense and acted as expert witness to the Court:

  • 2012 R v Walsh, acquitted August, Kingston Crown Court
  • 2012 R v Peacock, acquitted January, Southwark Crown Court
  • 2011 R v Webster, acquitted January, Stafford Crown Court
  • 2010 R v Holland, case dropped by CPS following expert reports

I have been invited to speak at various public events in the UK and internationally; and to debate pornography including on BBC2's Newsnight programme and in the pages of the Economist.

I am a founder member of the Onscenity Network - an AHRC funded initiative - the network continues to thrive and we are keen to develop further collaborations with colleagues nationally and internationally.

I initiated a large-scale study of audiences engaging with sexual media and am, with Professors Feona Attwood and Martin Barker, currently writing up the results for more than 5000 respondents - some publications are available at www.pornresearch.org

I am also a member of the Game of Thrones audience research project Questeros – if you are interested in talking part, you'll find the questionnaire at www.questeros.org


Last updated 27 September 2018