UC Professor Hosts 'Brown Sugar' Porn Tumblr

Aug 19, 2013 1:00 PM PST

SANTA BARBRA, Calif. — Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, UCSB assistant professor of Feminist Studies, extends her educational practices beyond the classroom with her explicit Tumblr blog Brown Sugar, a " a “race, porn and sex image collection.”

Miller-Young curates the photo blog of nude and suggestive photos of mostly black women, that include vintage photographs as well as hyper-modern depictions.

Her latest post from July 5 is a photograph of the “Ebony Venus” Joesephine Baker and “Bronze Apollo” Ballet legend Serge Lifar posing in vintage grace on Italy’s Lido Beach in the 1930s. The post includes a missive penned by Baker about the experience.

Another photo, posted June 11, shows a young black woman lying spread eagle on the couch. It’s tagged #vintagechicks and bears no caption.

The Tumblr seems a logical extension of Miller-Young’s academic endeavors: her upcoming book “A taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women Sex Work and Pornography” examines  “women’s representations, performances and labors in pornographic media from the 19th century to present.”  

The assistant professor also co-authored the “Feminist Porn Book” with fellow UCSB professors Constance Penley and Celine Parreñas Shimizu, as well as adult filmmaker Tristan Taormino, which released earlier this year. In addition to showcasing new Feminist scholarship on porn, it discusses “the emergence and significance of a thriving feminist porn movement.”     

“By putting our voices into conversation, this book sparks new thinking about the richness and complexity of porn as a genre and an industry in a way that helps us to appreciate the work that feminists in the porn industry are doing,” the introduction says.

The quartet co-published an article Sunday in Women’s News in which they argue that new and easily-accessible technologies are creating “moral panic-driven fears” about porn proliferation.

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