What is the impact of different sex work policymaking frameworks on the rights and lives of migrant sex workers?
This lecture will interrogate the relations between migration, sex work and trafficking in the global sex industry by analysing migrants’ own understandings and experiences of agency and exploitation. An interdisciplinary approach is used that brings together anthropology, sociology, gender studies, human geography and visual anthropology to study the impact of policies and interventions targeting migrant sex workers across eight strategic urban settings in France, the US, Australia and New Zealand. The lecture will focus on producing new emic concepts to develop innovative theorisations of migrant agency and more efficient and ethical policies concerning migrants working in the sex industry and migration governance more generally. In the lecture preliminary results will be shared from the ERC-funded project SEXHUM (Sexual Humanitarianism: migration, sex work and trafficking).
Nicola Mai is a sociologist, an ethnographer and a filmmaker working as Professor of Sociology and Migration Studies at Kingston University London. His academic writing and films focus on the experiences and representations of migrants working in the sex industry. Through experimental documentaries and original research findings Nicola Mai challenges prevailing humanitarian representations of the relationship between migration and sex work in terms of trafficking, while analyzing sex workers' complex experiences and understandings of exploitation and agency.
For more information on the project SEXHUM, see:
The event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. The event will be followed by drinks.
The lecture will take place in REC E0.22.