Image by: Mike Moss
While checking out the bookshelf of faculty-written books at the Elizabethtown College Store, one book cover may especially catch your attention. A female is posed, her teeth vivaciously clenched around a strawberry.
Boldly written upon the cover is the title, “The Porning of America: The Rise of Porn Culture, What It Means, and Where We Go from Here.” This new book is written by Etown English professor Dr. Carmine Sarracino, and former Etown professor Dr. Kevin M. Scott. It is published by Beacon Press.
“It’s not porn. It’s a book about porn,” Sarracino clearly illustrates. He teaches a class called “Growing Up in America,” which allows students to discover the values and experiences of living in an American society through literature and discussion.
“It’s not possible to study America without thinking a lot about the influence of porn in America,” Sarracino explains. “After discussion with Kevin, we thought we should do a book about this.”
“The Porning of America” reveals the history of pornographic material, and argues that the subject has become mainstream in our society. In all aspects of our culture – fashion, entertainment, advertising, and even politics, porn has naturally absorbed into our brain.
Sue Smith, the Textbook Manager at the Elizabethtown College Store, while not having yet read the book, maintains a positive outlook toward the work these men have done.
“I don’t see anything wrong with it,” Smith says. “We carry copies of all books faculty write.”
Sarracino and Scott compile a lot of information on the matter in this comprehensive book, and also profile a couple of “porn exemplars” – individuals who have been leaders of mainstreaming porn into our culture, such as Snoop Dogg, Jenna Jameson and Paris Hilton.
“Kevin knew a lot about men’s magazines and comics from the 1940s. He was really a good partner in the whole thing,” Sarracino stated.
Some may see the book as controversial, but the authors strive to make this a thoughtful and honest evaluation on how porn has had an influential effect on American culture.
“We do get questioned on some things too risqué,” Smith affirmed. “Sometimes the Brethren come in and have concerns about the books.”
Sarracino is an author of three books of poetry and teaches several courses on American literature and poetry at Elizabethtown College. Scott, while not longer teaching at Elizabethtown College, has written many scholarly articles on literature, art, and popular culture.
You may also find the following blog posts interesting, as both Sarracino and Scott contribute their knowledge in the same subject area in these blog posts on Beacon Broadside, a project of Beacon Press.
Author: Mike Moss, Etown College senior