Dr. John Paul Stadler is a media scholar and fiction writer. His research and teaching centers on the role of various media in shaping modern notions of gender and sexuality, particularly with regard to queer and transgender subjectivities. In his current project Pornographesis: Sex, Media and Gay Culture, he explores the historical force, technological forms, and sexual politics of adult media in order to correct a blind spot in the story sexuality studies tells about contemporary gay life. By paying close attention to the narrative structures, cultural positions, and reception practices of adult media since the 1960s, he makes the case for the centrality of this popular cultural form for understanding the historical formation of gay identity in the United States. In addition to delivering vexed pleasures, adult media also intervenes in political crises, creates alternative social structures, and challenges the rigid demands of heteronormative masculinity for gay subjects. Pornographesis dives deep into this popular cultural form while engaging closely with its evolving media formats, from 16mm to video, print, photographic, telephonic, theatrical, and digital technologies and ultimately argues for a more robust understanding of desire’s imbrication with media.
John is currently a lecturer in Film Studies at North Carolina State University and research associate in the Program in Literature at Duke University. He completed his Ph.D. in the Program in Literature at Duke University (2018), where he also earned certificates in Feminist Studies and Information Science + Information Studies. Prior to his doctorate, John received his MFA from the Creative Writing Program at University of Colorado, Boulder (2009). John has taught undergraduate courses in film and media studies, gender and sexuality studies, visual culture, 20th and 21st century literatures, performance studies, creative writing, and composition.