Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



This dissertation argues that while pornographic film asserts itself as the rebellious cousin to the literary and cinematic canon, it nonetheless relies on a particular Victorianness, transgressing and drawing on its perceived repressions and perversions for pornography’s own ostensible subversiveness. Through an analysis of pornographic adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, this project shows that the rupture and rearticulation of social and corporeal propriety constitutes pornography’s persistent appeal. These predominantly American pornographic texts, spanning 1974—2012, appropriate canonical British icons as a way of refuting the old world (framed as sexually repressed yet hypocritical) and establishing a postmodern American sexual identity (framed as sexually liberated and culturally savvy). Hardcore pornography is distinct in its unsimulated representation of sex, and its peculiar position at the intersection of legal, cultural, and spatial categorization and control. “Erotic Transgressions” shows the way pornography highlights postmodern culture’s interest in Victorian sexuality as a way of navigating our own fractured sexual identities. An analysis of these neo-Victorian texts reveals the intersections between public/private and desire/disgust in pornographic eroticism, and exposes the complicated ways in which consumers use pornography as a paradoxically disruptive and regulating medium.



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Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Masse, Michelle A.