Call For Contributions: Critical Political Perspectives on Sex

Call For Contributions: Critical Political Perspectives on Sex Work

Deadline: 19 November 2010

After a successful panel on theoretical and empirical investigations into sex work in North America and Asia at WPSA 2010, and with an APSA 2010 short course highlighting work on prostitution and pornography, we think it’s clear that feminist political activity and interest in prostitution and other forms of sex work is on the upswing. Both internationally and in the U.S., sophisticated empirical studies employing qualitative and quantitative methods and nuanced theoretical work are generating exciting new possibilities for feminist analyses and activism.

The questions raised by these theoretical and empirical investigations have no easy or uncontested answers and are undeniably about struggles for power, all of which makes them essential for political debate. We want to bring this work into conversation in a book that we will edit and contribute to. We’re extending this call to solicit abstracts for proposed chapters that examine sex work politics (and the politics of sex work) around the globe. We have met with editors at two academic presses who have expressed preliminary interest in this volume, contingent on the quality and range of the submissions received.

The working topic for this volume is “Critical Political Perspectives on Sex Work.” We welcome submissions employing a range of methods; submissions that are “think pieces” or “numbers crunching;” single-authored and collaborative works; North American in focus but also (and especially encouraged) comparative and globally situated; studies of much-discussed San Francisco and Amsterdam, but also underrepresented Rio de Janeiro and Johannesburg. To wit, potential contributions could include, but are not limited to,

• qualitative studies comparing the working conditions for sex workers across venues;
• comparative policy analyses of state-level policies related to varied types of sex work and their effects on persons in the sex industry;
• the use of public health versus morality discourses in policy debates on sex work;
• migration and sex work;
• the relationship between international and local NGOs working with and/or formed by sex workers;
• the changing rhetorical frameworks around prostitution, stripping, and pornography and the impact of framing on policy outcomes;
• the effects of U.S. funding decisions on international aid and policies;
• initial analyses of the impact of recent changes in Rhode Island’s prostitution law;
• alternatives to unionization as a means of increasing sex worker agency;
• the application of intersectionality theories to sex worker activism, working conditions, and policy critiques, etc.

Again, this is meant to be a suggestive, not exhaustive, list.

If you are working on any area of sex work theory and policy, we hope that you will consider working with us on this venture.

Please contact Dr. Samantha Majic [smajic(at)] or Dr. Carisa Showden [carisa_showden(at)] with questions.

Please send proposals to Carisa Showden at carisa_showden(at) by 19 November 2010.