Hotbeds of Licentiousness: The British Glamour Film and the Permissive Society | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Hotbeds of Licentiousness: The British Glamour Film and the Permissive Society

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Hotbeds of Licentiousness

The British Glamour Film and the Permissive Society

Benjamin Halligan

336 pages, 26 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-486-9 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (May 2022)

ISBN  978-1-80539-345-0 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Not Yet Published (August 2024)

eISBN 978-1-80539-451-8 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Halligan thrives when exploring a text’s cultural contradictions and the cracks in the philosophies underpinning the work. However, the book’s greatest asset is in taking these films (which rarely appear in most histories of British cinema) seriously.” • Choice

“By engaging with both sides of the debate surrounding the ‘Permissive Society’ in relation to pornography, Hotbeds of Licentiousness is extremely valuable as an original study of a field beset by difficulty – not least the difficulty of tracking down and documenting this hinterland and the difficulty of coming to terms with its legacy.” • Journal of British Cinema and Television

“Halligan has uncovered a new canon of British filmmakers who for the most part have been ignored in previous histories, who played an important role in this secretive, frequently controversial world…In his new book… we get some fascinating insight into the history of British pornography and its connection to politics and the campaigning against it of groups such as the Festival of Light… For anyone interested in this occasionally murky aspect of British film industry, this is an essential addition to a library.” • Cinema Retro

“This book is a thought-provoking read not only for devotees of British cinema, but for anybody interested in the byways of film production, how obscenity is defined, the rationale for censorship and that liminal area where film interacts with the prevailing culture.” • Off Screen


Hotbeds of Licentiousness is the first substantial critical engagement with British pornography on film across the 1970s, including the “Summer of Love,” the rise and fall of the Permissive Society, the arrival of Margaret Thatcher, and beyond. By focusing on a series of colorful filmmakers whose work, while omnipresent during the 1970s, now remains critically ignored, author Benjamin Halligan discusses pornography in terms of lifestyle aspirations and opportunities which point to radical changes in British society. In this way, pornography is approached as a crucial optic with which to consider recent cultural and social history.

Benjamin Halligan is the Director of the Doctoral College of the University of Wolverhampton. His publications include Desires for Reality: Radicalism and Revolution in Western European Film (Berghahn Books, 2016) and the co-edited Politics of the Many: Contemporary Radical Thought and the Crisis of Agency (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Subject: Film and Television StudiesHistory: 20th Century to PresentCultural Studies (General)
Area: Europe


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