PRESENT: Instructor, School of the Art Institute The Material Culture of Sex, a course available in Liberal Arts & Visual/Critical Studies. Instructor: The University of ChicagoGrahamSchool of General Studies
Presentations1997 – Present:
• (2009) University of Minnesota Medical School: Sex Science and Social Codes; Jane Addams Hull House: The Emergence of Agriculture and the Decline of Feminine Values • (2004) SSSS; organized Film Festival: Satine Caloris Tibi Est (Hot Enough For You?) • (2003) SSSS, Erotic Movies for Therapeutic and Heuristic Purposes • (2002) SSSS, Exploring Film and Video Media for Clinical and Academic Applications • (2002) SSSS, From Goddess to Maiden: Evolving Concepts of Virginity • (2001) SSSS, Ancient Female Archetypes: from the Venus of Willendorf to the Virgin Mary • (2001) First Amendment Lawyers Association, (Vancouver, B.C., • (2000) Kent State • (1998) World Pornography Conference • (1997) SSSS, The Revolutionary Roots of Porn.
Producer Libido Films Sex-education documentaries/films.
Trial Run (2006) • Orgasmic Women (2005) Co-production with Betty Dodson • Orgasm: Faces of Ecstasy (2004) Co-production with Joani Blank; a non-explicit exploration of the orgasmic experience • Urban Friction — A Modern Romance (2002); • Ecstatic Moments (1999); won 2000 Erotic Oscar, best video of the year • Sexual Ecstasy for Couples (1999).
Co-founder (1988) Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility. Publisher (1984-5) The Lincoln Park Spectator, a Chicago community weekly;
Additional writing credits include Chicago Reader, Chicago Sun-Times,Chicago Tribune, Chicago Life Magazine,Isthmus, Minneapolis Star, Orange County Register, Globe, National Enquirer, Toronto Sun.
Professional Organizations/Publications/TV Appearances
(2005, 2003) Consultant for Sex-TV (Toronto); • (1994) Profiled on HBO’s Real Sex #7 • Member of SSSS (The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality) since 1996; • (1997) Co-editor: Best of LIBIDO (Bantam Doubleday Dell • (1999) Editor Naked LIBIDO photo book (exhibit, Musée de l’érotisme, Paris • (1999) contributor to Porn 101 (Prometheus, 1999).
B.A. in English, Northwestern University, 1976. Ph.D. in Erotology: Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco (1998).
An evening survey course over several days would seem the most productive and fun. It allows people to build on the material and encourage participation (rather than a one-shot or all-day presentation). All classes are very visually driven presented in PowerPoint (usually with 50 plus images) — and often accompanied by DVD selections.
Marianna Beck always strives to balance each 3-hour class with both historical and contemporary issues. For example: the historical demonization of women in the Middle Ages vis a vis the sexual component in monster and horror movies. These days you can of course tap into the iconography of the vampire etc.
Description of course:
Material culture study examines not only the artifacts but also the relevant historical evidence— values, attitudes and ideas — of a society in a given place and time. It assumes that what a society produces in terms of art and what it reflects via its belief patterns reveals the hidden intersection between what is expressed and what a society professes at a both a conscious and subconscious level. By examining various forms of cultural expression, we can begin to recognize themes and patterns and appreciate contemporary values by looking at their historical antecedents.
The following lectures (taken from Marianna's syllabus) cover some of the subjects she tackles. She can tweak or expand depending on whether the audience wants to emphasize a historical context, a contemporary one or both.
•Graffiti, Goddesses and Genes: 32,000 years of Sexual Expression (Overview lecture)
•The Emergence of Agriculture and the Decline of Feminine Values —Bad Girls vs. Good Girls
•Origins of Image-Making — From Parietal Art (Cave Paintings) to Venus Figures (Theories about consciousness, neurobiology and who made what and why).
•The Emergence of Agriculture and the Decline of Feminine Values —Bad Girls vs. Good Girls (Roots of the sex-negative message
•From Maryolotry to the Malleus Maleficarum — Prototypes of the Demonized Female (Chivalric code, the sexualization of sacred iconography and the emergence of the witch).
•The printing press, Pietro Aretino and the democratization of sexual imagery.
•The French Revolution and the Depiction of Political Tyranny in Sexual Terms (The Marquis de Sade and the subversive function of pornography)
•Science, Sex and Social Codes — Medicine’s Mixed Messages
(From anti-masturbation devices to vibrators and the emergence of a sex as science).
Marianna has given single, more general lectures such as the one recently at the University of Minnesota Medical School in June. She talked about how views of the body from the Greeks onwards shaped medical attitudes and defined how the medical community has approached the male and female body.
Other topics include:
• The Language of Sex and Psychopathology of Sexual Humor (how different cultures and societies over time have approached labeling body parts etc.