Provocauteurs and Provocations

Screening Sex in 21st Century Media

by Maria San Filippo

Published by: Indiana University Press

442 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 25 b&w illus.

  • Paperback
  • 9780253052124
  • Published: February 2021


  • Hardcover
  • 9780253052117
  • Published: February 2021


  • eBook
  • 9780253052155
  • Published: February 2021


Is the sex on our screens simply sensationalism or is it a political strategy to help us reimagine ways of thinking about sexuality?

Twenty-first century media has increasingly turned to provocative sexual content to court controversy, even scandal, in a bid to generate buzz and stand out within a glut of programming. While such an approach may at times be no more than a profitable tactic, the most probing and powerful instances of sexual provocation serve to illuminate, question, and transform our understanding of sex and sexuality. In Provocauteurs and Provocations, award-winning author Maria San Filippo looks at the provocative in films, television series, web series and videos, entertainment industry publicity materials, and social media discourses and explores its potential to create alternative, even radical ways of screening sex. New production technologies enable and amplify the distribution of "provocauteurs," who challenge sexual conventions and representational norms.

Throughout this edgy volume, San Filippo examines a myriad of controversial strategies—including "real sex" scenes, scandalous marketing campaigns, full-frontal nudity, troubling texts, and divisive figures—to reveal the critical role that sexual provocation plays as a promotional strategy and authorial signature within the contemporary media landscape.