Popular film and television hold valuable potential for learning about sex and sexuality beyond the information-based model of sex education currently in schools. This book argues that the representation of complicated—or "messy"—relationships in these popular cultural forms makes them potent as affective pedagogical moments. It endeavours to develop new sexual literacies by contemplating how pedagogical moments, that is, fleeting moments which disrupt expectations or create discomfort, might enrich the available discourses of sexuality and gender, especially those available to adolescents. In Part One, Clarke critiques the heteronormative discourses of sex education that produce youth in particularly gendered ways, noting that "rationality" is often expected to govern experiences that are embodied and arguably inherently incoherent. Part Two explores public intimacy, contemplating the often overlapping and confused boundaries between public and private.
Table of Contents
1. Beyond Repetitive Endings: Teen film, Fake Orgasm and Performance in Easy A
2. Becoming Pregnant: Girlhood, Responsibility and "Irrationality" in Juno
3. Constructing Virginity: Religion, Secularism and Abstinence in Looking for Alibrandi and The Rage in Placid Lake
4. Touching Fingers, Touching Lips: Exploring Heteronormativity, Affect and Queer Relationships in Glee
5. Flirting with Uncertainty: Disability, Communication and Challenging Normal in The Black Balloon
6. Uncomfortable Feelings: Grief, Hospitality and Belonging in Skins
Kyra Clarke is an early career researcher, currently a Research Fellow and Associate Lecturer at the University of Western Australia. Her research particularly centres around feminism, affect, sex education and queer theory, exploring a range of popular textual forms.
"This work provides a rich and insightful analysis of ways in which tropes of teen sexualities are played out on screens via some of the most popular texts of the last few years. One of its strengths is the author’s eye for disruptions of endorsed cultural narratives and the potential of film and TV to offer ‘messy’ alternatives as ‘pedagogical moments.’" --Michele Paule, Oxford Brookes University, UK