Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Uncreative Writing: Robotic Erotica/Erotic Robotics: Scribing a Non-Expresssive Sexuality

ENGL 111.301


The tropes of erotica are well-digested by now: tingling narratives wrapped in a humanist ethos, designed to universally stimulate all; these conventions -- codified and calcified -- are never questioned. Yet if we view erotica in the expanded field, we'll find a wealth of anti-humanist, machinistic and robotic approaches to bodies and sex. From netporn to realcore to technésexuality, playful erotic acts are committed in physical and virtual space simultaneously, begging new definitions of intimacy and sexuality. How would language express these states? Can a non-expressive sexuality be written though erotic? Can computer code be erotic? Readings and theory will include Foucault's "Scientia Sexualis," Mulvey's theory of the male gaze, D'agoty's eroticised anatomies, Ballard's "Crash," Artaud's "Theater of Cruelty," Donna Haraway's "Cyborg Manifesto" and many more. Art historical precedents will include Yves Klein's "Anthropometies," Carolee Schneeman's "Meat Joy," the films of the Vienna Actionists, Passolini's "Salo." Note: this course will include adult material, often violent and disturbing. Not for the faint-hearted. Permit from the instructor is required.


fulfills requirements