Faculty & Staff

Peter Alilunas

Peter Alilunas

Assistant Professor

236 Allen Hall


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A Pacific Northwest native, Peter Alilunas conducts his primary research on the history of the adult film industry as it transitioned from celluloid to videotape in the late 1970s, which he examines from a variety of industrial, cultural, legal, and political perspectives. His monograph, Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video, 1976-1986, is forthcoming from the University of California Press. His other interests include copyright law, histories of media technology, media regulation, and industry studies. He is currently creating an online adult film history archive for scholars and historians.


  • PhD, Screen Arts & Cultures, University of Michigan, 2013
  • MA, Radio-Television-Film, The University of Texas at Austin, 2008
  • BA, English, University of Oregon, 2006

Areas of Expertise

  • Pornography
  • Media and sex
  • Media coverage of arts and culture
  • Popular culture
  • Media industries
  • Film
  • First Amendment
  • Censorship
  • Media history
  • Copyright


Alilunas studies the history of the adult film industry, particularly as it transitioned from movie theaters to home video in the late 1970s. Paying close attention to issues of regulation in forms ranging from legal control to community protest, he argues that the tensions surrounding pornography often take on diverse and complicated shapes that ultimately seek to define and control the meanings of pleasure. Much of his work examines the intersections among technology, gender, sexuality, and industry.

 Recent Citations, Publications, and Professional Work

“Regulating the Desire Machine: Custer’s Revenge and 8-Bit Atari Porn Video Games,” co-authored with Matthew Thomas Payne (University of Alabama), Television & New Media, 2015. DOI: 10.1177/1527476415601212.

“Ephemerata: Ginger’s Private Party Flyer (circa 1985),” Film History 26.3, 2014: 144-155.

“The Necessary Future of Adult Industry Studies,” Creative Industries Journal 7.1 (2014), 62-66.

“Afterword: Pink Film and Porn Studies,” in The Pink Book: Japanese Eroduction and its Contexts. Markus Nornes, ed. Ann Arbor, MI: Kinema Club, 2014.

Forthcoming: “Mediating the Back Room: Adult Video News and the Creation of Adult Video,” in From Porno Chic to the Sex Wars: The Destabilization of American Culture and Politics in the 1970s. Whitney Strub and Carolyn Bronstein, eds. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2015.

Honors and Awards

2104, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Dissertation Award of Distinction for Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video, 1976-1986


  • Media History
  • Media Sexualities
  • Media and Society
  • Copyright and Media
  • Understanding Disney