About

As an historian, I write about sexual politics, the law, gender, culture, and heterornormativity, particularly through the lens of obscenity and pornography. My first book, Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right, came out from Columbia University Press a few years ago. My second, Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression, arrived in September 2013 from the University Press of Kansas. I am mostly too lazy to blog rigorously about matters academic; cinematic depictions of Newark seem to be where things here tend, but I try to keep it updated in regard to more formal things I’ve written or occasionally cool archival documents I find.

Titling one’s blog after oneself is surely the height of pomposity, unless one’s profile in the world can bear such weight. And no Jack Balkin or Eugene Volokh am I. But what I have that those esteemed professors lack is simple: a name that ends with a B. Resistance is futile when it rolls off the tongue so smoothly. So strublog it is. Also, I didn’t have any better ideas when push came to shoving the enter key.

On my slightly cheesy Amazon profile, I claim to spend a lot of time taking pictures of my cats. It is a true claim, I assure you, but I’ll try not to get carried away with it here. They are pretty cute though, let the record show:

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Drop a line: wstrub at gmail dot com

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Recent Posts

Newark Stripped Bare: A Cold Wind in August (1961) b/w the Vibrant Mood Swings of Scott Lewis

A Cold Wind in August opens on slightly different notes, depending on whether you read Burton Wohl’s novel or see Alexander Singer’s film. They’re both overzealous, eager to flaunt their imagined merits to better avoid the fundamental trashiness of the whole enterprise, but it’s the trash that ultimately distinguishes this otherwise unremarkable story of an age-inappropriate May/December romance.

For Wohl, it’s the strained cleverness of the Jaded Young Literary Man shtick that provides an alibi—he holds those naked breasts at bay until almost the end of the first page (a full description awaits on the third page, after some morning-after wistfulness), even though that’s what we’re all presumably here for. Still, for all its smarminess, this ain’t half bad—I like the “chafed crotch walk” description, you could see Charles Willeford writing that. Continue reading

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  2. The Backroom at the End of the World: Goodbye, Flash Video (Pornography in Newark, Part 5) Leave a reply
  3. The Yaku and the Undefeated (2017) 1 Reply
  4. The Zebedy Colt Teenage Sex (?) Scandal Leave a reply
  5. Russ Meyer in the Archives Leave a reply
  6. My Own Private Zebedy Colt: From Mondo Video to GLQ Leave a reply
  7. Newark’s Worst: Scraping the Bottom of the Local Film Barrel Leave a reply
  8. Newark under Surveillance: Highlights of the COINTELPRO files, and Confessions of an Undercover Cop (1988) Leave a reply
  9. Newark Deserves a City Symphony: New Work: Newark in 3D (2009) Leave a reply