Dr Simon Hardy

Dr Simon Hardy

Head of Department, History, Politics & Sociology, Principal lecturer in Sociology

Head of School

History, Politics and Sociology

Contact Details

email: s.hardy@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 85 5380

Simon has lectured at Worcester in Sociology and Media & Cultural Studies since 1995, with specialisms in the history of sexuality, the sociology of pornography and contemporary media coverage of warfare.

Dr Hardy's current research project addresses social and historical aspects of the development of pornography in modern society. This is an extension of his previous research and writing, which began with his PhD research on men's use of pornography, at the University of Essex (where he received his doctorate in 1995). His book The Reader, The Author, His Woman and Her Lover was published by Cassell in 1998. Since then he has published a series of articles and essays on various aspects of pornography and erotic culture in the journal Sexualities (of which he is a member of the editorial board), and in a range of other journals and edited collections.

Teaching & Research

The contemporary and historical analysis of pornography/erotica as a cultural genre. At present my major project is a genealogical study of early pornographic texts written in the English language between 1748 and 1890, which traces the development of the various formula, techniques and themes of proto-pornographic literature prior to the advent of the cinematic medium.


  • Pornography and modern culture
  • The history of sexuality
  • War, democracy and the media
  • Media and social change (in historical and contemporary contexts)
  • The history of sociological thought
  • Approaching the Crisis (sociologies for the 21st century)

Professional Bodies

(2007) British Board of Film Classification
Expert on panel reviewing rationale for deletions from current pornographic DVDs


(Forthcoming) 'From Black Lace to Shades of Grey: the interpellation of the 'female subject' into erotic discourse' in (ed.) Kristen Philips Shattering Releases, McFarland and Co

(2011) 'Being Dr Porn: Teaching Pornography' in Mehreen Mirza and David Hussey (eds.) C-SAP Monograph No. 14 pp128-152: Teaching Gender and Sexuality in the Twenty First Century

(2009) ‘The New Pornographies: Representation or Reality?’ in Feona Attwood (ed.) Mainstreaming Sex (pp. 3-18) London: I.B.

(2008) ‘The Pornography of Reality’ in Sexualities: The 10th Anniversary Issue Vol.11, No. 1/2. pp 60-64
Also translated into German and reprinted as ‘Die Pornografie der Realität’ in Jorg Metelmann (ed.) Porno-Pop II: Im Erregungsdispositiv (pp 67-70) Wurzburg, Germany: Königshausen and Neumann (2010)

(2007) ‘Pornography and Erotica’ in George Ritzer (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology: N-P Volume VII pp 3540-3542
An abbreviated version of ‘Pornography and erotica’ in George Ritzer and J. Michael Ryan (eds.) The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology John Wiley and Sons (2011)

Also reprinted in: Steven Seidman, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks (eds.) Introducing the New Sexuality Studies Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge (2007)

(2006) ‘Anal sex: phallic and other meanings’ in Steven Seidman, Nancy Fischer and Chet Meeks (eds.) Handbook of the New Sexuality Studies Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

(2004) ‘The Greeks, Eroticism and Ourselves’ in Sexualities Vol.7, No.2 pp 201-216

(2004) ‘Reading Pornography’ in Sex Education Vol.4, No.1 pp 3-18

(2001) ‘More Black Lace: Women, Eroticism and Subjecthood’ in Sexualities Vol.4, No.4 pp 435-453

(2001) ‘Materialist feminism and heterosexuality’, a review of Sevi Jackson’s Sexuality in 
Question in Sexuality and Culture Vol.5, No2 pp 95-97

(2000) Review of Laura Kipnis’ Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of 
Fantasy in America in Sexualities Vol.3, No1 pp 122-124

(2000) ‘Feminist Iconoclasm and the Problem of Eroticism’ in Sexualities Vol.3, No.1 pp 77- 96

(1998) ‘The Reader, The Author, His Woman and Her Lover: Soft-Core Pornography and

Heterosexual Men’ London: Cassell

External Responsibilities

Membership of Editorial Board

(2002-2013) Journal of Sexualities (Sage)

Referee for articles for journals

(2014) Porn Studies, Taylor & Francis

(2014) Sociological Theory, Sage

(2002-2014) Sexualities, Sage

(2012) Gender and Society, Sage

(2011) Enterprise and Society, Oxford University Press