Event Information

Title: The Kinsey Institute and Changing Cultural Contexts: 60 Years After US v. 31 Photographs
Start Time: Tuesday October 17, 2017 05:00 PM
End Time: Tuesday October 17, 2017 06:30 PM
Location: Law School Moot Court Room (123)
Contact: Dawn Johnsen

The Kinsey Institute and Changing Cultural Contexts: 60 Years After US v. 31 Photographs

Tuesday, Oct. 17, 5-6:30pm

IU Maurer School of Law Moot Court Room, 211 S. Indiana Ave.


2017 marks the 60th anniversary of U.S. v. 31 Photographs, a 1957 federal district court decision in a case in which the Kinsey Institute prevailed against efforts by the U.S. government to prevent the collection of sexually explicit materials alleged to be “obscene.” This important decision introduced the concept of “variable obscenity” and thereby expanded access to sexually explicit materials by academic researchers and others. This panel will examine the decision and its legacy, its place in the development of the constitutional doctrine of obscenity and other unprotected expression, its profound impact on the Kinsey Institute and institutions across the country, and its ramifications for artists and others.


Panelists include:

Dawn Johnsen, Walter W. Foskett Professor of Law, Maurer School of Law 

Barbara Nitke, New York photographer, best known for her compassionate view of alternative sex

Hallimeda Allinson, cultural historian completing a doctoral dissertation in IU's Department of History, entitled “Public Sexuality: Erotic Desire, Identity Categories, and ‘Sexual Revolution,’ 1920-1979”

Moderated by Rebecca Fasman, Manager of Traveling Exhibitions, Kinsey Institute


Please note: There will be sexually explicit images shown at this event. This event is generously sponsored by Michael Rosen and co-sponsored by the Kinsey Institute, Maurer School of Law, and Maurer’s American Constitution Society.

Contact Email: djohnsen@indiana.edu
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