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The University of Southampton
Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design & Media

WSA Staff Seminar Series: Adam Dunn Seminar

16:00 - 18:00
22 April 2015
Harvard Suite (Room number: 3032), Winchester School of Art

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Professor John Armitage at .

Event details

Peddling Seduction's Algorithms: an Introduction to the Pick-up Artist


Peddling Seduction's Algorithms: an Introduction to the Pick-up Artist

Pick-up artists are a strange, unpleasant and insular community of (near-exclusively) men who have dedicated substantial parts of their lives to creating or uncovering the 'secret rules' of how to seduce women. Whilst the community thrives online to such an extent that there are now several identifiable splinter factions, it got its start in old-fashioned workshops and books, most notably as featured in The Game, by reporter Neil Strauss. Both the online community and the books from which it largely sprang form a discourse with a specific focus but also a convoluted jargon, in- and out-groups and near-total system of explanations of the world, ostensibly based on 'objective' and 'scientific' research 'in the field'.

This talk is about the very preliminary stage of researching the PUA community, focusing on the books that set out the terminology and world-view later taken up (and sometimes refuted) online. I'll start with the context of my interest in the PUA discourse—including a bit of self-justification—followed by a look at the discourse itself. The initial focus will be on the authors themselves and how they present their own testimonies of self-transformation. This will be used as a way of understanding the different strands of thinking that make up this view of the world, including the tensions between the different discourse areas PUAs explicitly and implicitly draw from


Adam teaches in the Fashion & Textiles department, on the Fashion Management and Fashion Marketing & Branding MA pathways. He hopes not to have picked up any habits of self-presentation from the source material, but makes no guarantees.

Speaker information

Adam Dunn ,Teaching Fellow in Academic Study Skills

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