[csaa-forum] Seminar: A/Prof Alan McKee at Deakin University (Burwood campus)

alison huber huberal at unimelb.edu.au
Tue Mar 24 09:50:53 CST 2009

Seminar ­ all welcome
Monday 30 March 2009, 4-5pm
Venue: B2.20 (Blue Room), Deakin University, Melbourne Campus at Burwood
Map: http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts-ed/icg/events/pdf/blueroom.pdf

Associate Professor Alan McKee (QUT)
Title: 'Talking the language of social science: does pornography damage
young people?'

This is the story of a humanities researcher approaching pornography, and
discovering a world of social science research. The story of learning to
talk like a social scientist ­ and wrestling with the problems that this

The difference between the humanities and social sciences is primarily that
of certainty. Where humanities says ŒIt¹s not that simple¹, social science
says ŒYes it is¹.

One of the joys of cultural studies is its claim to interdisciplinarity. It
crosses boundaries ­ including the boundary of certainty between the
humanities and the social sciences. But from a humanities background, how
does one deal with the ethical implications of doing social science? In
order to engage with the knowledge domain of social science, and to widely
disseminate knowledge across society, it is necessary to move into the realm
of certainty. But when one¹s natural instinct is always to say ŒIt isn¹t
that simple?¹, how do you learn to make statements of absolute certainty and
simplicity. Statements like: ŒPornography does not damage young people¹ - ?

Associate Professor Alan McKee has written five books on popular culture,
including the recent The Porn Report (with Catherine Lumby and Kath Albury),
Australian Television (Oxford University Press), and Beautiful Things in
Popular Culture (Blackwells). His research interests include the positive
effects of exposure to pornography; television history (with a particular
interest in the prehistory of televisual entertainment forms); practice-led
research; and the political potential of self help books. A/P McKee teaches
in the Discipline of Film and Television at QUT. He has also written gags
for Paul McDermott on the variety program The Sideshow. He's written
backstory for computer games, an award winning Doctor Who short story, and a
regular opinion column for a queer newspaper.

This seminar is supported by the ARC Cultural Research Network and the
Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University.


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