A Conversation with Andrew Deman

Can you give a brief overview of your topic/idea, and why you’re so passionate about it?

Alan Moore is no stranger to metafiction. In his famous Watchmen, for example, Moore crafts an involved interrogation of the superhero genre within a highly self-reflexive superhero story, while his League of Extraordinary Gentlemen crafts a Victorian adventure tale that, likewise, interrogates the conventions and cultural value of the old Victorian adventure serials. Framing Moore’s Lost Girls (co-authored and illustrated by Melinda Gebbie) in this same light allows us to consider the text as a work of pornography that explores and explains the greater role of pornography within our culture and society. Lost Girls offers important, insightful social commentary on the relationship between sexuality, creativity and violence, illustrating a delicate relationship between the three elements that finds an important staging ground in pornographic material. My talk will situate this commentary within the context of contemporary work on the subject of pornography from the field of human sexuality, drawing on the works of Robert Stoller and Anne McClintock, specifically.

Can you tell us about the history of this idea - how did you conceive of it?

As an instructor on fantasy, I've often struggled with the complex relationship between erotic desire and the intellectual imagination. In this capacity, Moore's work was something of a revelation for me, and extending that interconnected aspect to violence as well offered a more complex and socially effective angle to the concept that rings true to a lot of contemporary ideas on sexuality, violence and creativity, both academic and intuitive.

How does your topic fit in with our theme of Interconnectedness?

Very well, I'd say. It's a situation where three fundamental and primal aspects of our everyday existence show a connection that has been previously undertheorized.

What does Interconnectedness mean to you?

It means that there are discoveries to be made and patterns to be identified and explored. To me this is and has always been the first step of the academic endeavour. It's exciting, if nothing else.

What is your goal in delivering this TED talk?

To call people's attention to a great work of art and a very, very interesting theory that we need to be discussing more.