The Sexual Representation Collection Presents: Susanna Paasonen and Jenny Sundèn

Events on Campus

Susanna Paasonen: NSFW, or, Sex as Risk

The Internet slang term and social media tag NSFW—“Not Safe/Suitable for Work”— is widely used in Anglophone contexts (and beyond) to organize and regulate sexual content and pornographic imagery, often in connection with humor. Zooming in on the tag that functions as both a warning and a lure, this talk examines the logics of content classification and filtering connected to it. More specifically, it asks how the boundaries of risk and danger become drawn in connection with sexuality on online platforms, and on Facebook in particular, as well as what other avenues remain available for considering the distribution of risk and harm online. Refusing the default association of sex and risk, upon which the marker NSFW more or less playfully operates, I argue for shifting focus onto considerations of consent in the circulation of sexual content, as well as for highlighting the value of sexuality in and for people’s lives as these intersect with social media.

Susanna Paasonen 
University of Turku, Finland
Media Studies 

Jenny Sundén: Play, Secrecy, and Sensitive Data: On Networked Intimacy and Public Sex

Based on a new materialist analysis of ‘vibrant matter’ (Bennett 2010) to understand the disobedience of sexual objects in toy-based play, in this presentation I investigate the politics of thinking digital technologies as operating partly beyond human forms of agency and control. I use as my core examples privacy breaches and data leaks in the world of networked sex toys – such as a vibrator which allegedly audio recorded its clients’ play sessions without express permission – to engage with questions of intimacy and privacy in digital networks of humans and nonhumans. In particular, the discussion focuses on the consequences of new forms of publicness for how we can understand sexual intimacy and sexual play. What does it mean to be have an intimate moment when connected to a device, a medium, and a network that is by definition public, corporate, and promiscuous (cf. Chun 2016)? And how could we imagine other ways of being intimate and exposed – yet safe – in public digital networks?

Jenny Sundén
Södertörn University, Sweden
Gender Studies

☛ please register here

hosted by:
Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies

co-sponsored by:
Centre for Ethics

Wed, Oct 17, 2018
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Faculty of Information
140 St. George St.