"Pleasure and Danger," a Special Issue of Signs, Now Available with Open Access

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Subject Fields: 
Women's & Gender History / Studies, Sexuality Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Political Science, Sociology

Signs is pleased to announce the publication of a new special issue, “Pleasure and Danger: Sexual Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century”!

We are especially pleased that we are able to offer open access to all of the articles in the issue on a rotating basis: Signs editor Suzanna Danuta Walters’s introduction to the issue and Alice Echols’s retrospective essay on the 1982 Barnard Conference will remain freely available for the next three months, and all other articles in the issue will be made freely available for shorter periods.

The issue examines how the so-called sex wars have shaped contemporary discussions around sexual pleasures and dangers. The articles in the issue demonstrate that feminist scholars are pushing far beyond tiresome splits and divisions. Articles remember, reassess, and complicate key moments and figures of the “sex wars,” but they also demonstrate the vitality and dynamism of contemporary feminist approaches to the study of sexuality. Representing a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary locations, articles in the issue address the Barnard Conference itself, literary and artistic representation, national and transnational sexual economies, and sexual violence and the law.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Dangers of a Metaphor—Beyond the Battlefield in the Sex Wars
Suzanna Danuta Walters

Retrospective: Tangled Up in Pleasure and Danger
Alice Echols

Beyond Barnard: Liberalism, Antipornography Feminism, and the Sex Wars
Lorna Norman Bracewell

The Pleasures of Dangerous Criticism: Interpreting Andrea Dworkin as a Literary Critic
Leah Claire Allen

Vulnerability and Victimization: Rethinking Key Concepts in Feminist Discourses on Sexual Violence
Erinn Cunniff Gilson

The Stickiness of Sex Work: Pleasure, Habit, and Intersubstantiality in South India
Kimberly Walters

Sex Toys after NAFTA: Transnational Class Politics, Erotic Consumerism, and the Economy of Female Pleasure in Mexico City
Jennifer Tyburczy

Queering Sugar: Kara Walker’s Sugar Sphinx and the Intractability of Black Female Sexuality
Amber Jamilla Musser

Shock and Consent in a Feminist Avant-Garde: Kathleen Hanna Reads Kathy Acker
Anna Ioanes

Judging Women’s Sexual Agency: Contemporary Sex Wars in the Legal Terrain of Prostitution and Polygamy
Melanie Heath, Jessica Braimoh, and Julie Gouweloos

“I Get Paid to Have Orgasms”: Adult Webcam Models’ Negotiation of Pleasure and Danger
Angela Jones

Currents: Feminist Key Concepts and Controversies
The Move to Affirmative Consent
Janet Halley

Contact Info: 

Andrew Mazzaschi, Deputy Editor, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society