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Researcher: Prof. Dr. Anne Storch, Prof. Dr. Nico Nassenstein (Mainz)

Images of genitals are a very special gift: often rather offered as unsolicited parts of text messages, they elicit a form of discourse that may become as transgressive and offensive as the pictures themselves seem to be. Both direct comments in social media as well as the public discourse on sexting are often extreme in their refusal and critique concerning practices such as ‘dickpic’ transmissions. Yet, which are the metapragmatic aspects of such seeming violations of norms and taboos?

Even though sexting and metasexting appear to be globalized practices, there are particular sociolinguistic phenomena that require a different take on language than that offered by academic (European-American) linguistics. These phenomena include the creative production, performative transmission and discursive evaluation of images in African social media contexts and those from the African Diaspora that differ from ‘northern’ dickpics with regards of their composition and design, and which are conceptualized as a very transcendental and agentive type of text rather than a simple form of sexist intrusion.