CFP #AAG2018. ‘Geographies of Sex, Sexuality and Sex Work: Myths, Imaginaries and Realities’. New Orleans, April 10-14 2018

 

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Paul Maginn, Erin Sanders-Mcdonagh and I are pleased to announce the call for papers for this year’s American Association of Geographers Conference in New Orleans in April next year (see more details here: http://www.aag.org/cs/events/event_detail?eventId=1258 ).  Although a geography conference, it is a very interdisciplinary event and we welcome submissions of abstracts from all perspectives on sex, sexuality and sex work.  We have run special sessions on these themes for the last few years at this conference and it is always a really engaging and enjoyable event.  We have also been fortunate in the past to secure some contributory funding for sex workers to attend and present from the conference enrichment fund, and would endeavour to do so again.

Do get in touch if you would like some clarification before submitting something.  The deadline is 16th October to submit an abstract.

 

ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN GEOGRAPHERS CONFERENCE

NEW ORLEANS, 2018

#GEOSEX18 CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/PAPERS

 

Geographies of Sex, Sexuality and Sex Work:

Myths, Imaginaries and Realities

In the past decade questions about sex, sexuality and sex work have come to dominate media, political and social debates. These debates have seen the tectonic plates of ‘conservatism’ and ‘liberalism’ collide and sheer against one another. There is considerable variation in the dynamics of such relations across national and international boundaries. In the predominantly Catholic country of Ireland, for example, a referendum on marriage equality saw the LGBTQ community granted the same rights as heterosexual couples. In Northern Ireland (NI), however, the Protestant-dominated local Assembly has thus far steadfastly refused to pass legislation on marriage equality five times. The failure to pass this legislation has been due largely to opposition from the largest political party in NI –the Democratic Unionist Party – who has effectively vetoed the issue each time it has to a vote. And, in Australia the current Liberal Government has prevaricated on the issue of marriage equality by agreeing to hold a non-binding postal plebiscite on the issue rather than letting the Parliament decide on the issue.

On the matter of sex work, some nations – e.g. Canada, France, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – have recently introduced legislation that criminalises the purchase of commercial sex services in the name of protecting (female) sex workers and victims of human trafficking. This legislation was introduced in these jurisdictions following major campaigning by conservative politicians, religious organisations, NGOs and radical feminist organisations often working together. Relatedly, other state actors have sought to prohibit access to pornography by framing the consumption of adult entertainment as an issue that affects social and mental well-being. For example, participants at the 2016 Republican National Convention in the USA suggested that viewing pornography constituted a ‘public health crisis’. In the UK the government has recently sought to introduce age verification mechanisms and regulations in order to prevent people from viewing particular sexual acts online.

All the while, the consumption of online (heteronormative) pornography continues to grow year-on-year as data from one of the world’s largest free porn websites reveals each year. There is relatively little publicly available data on the consumption of non-heteronormative types of porn, although anecdotal evidence points to significant growth in “feminist-porn and alt-porn”. Camming has also becoming an increasingly popular mode of adult entertainment, with an estimated 20,000 performers online in the US at any given time. Even professional adult performers now engage in cam-work (and other forms of adult entertainment such as stripping and feature dancing) as a means of generating supplementary income due to the de-industrialisation of the porn industry in the wake of free online porn hosting sites. New and improved technologies have therefore created alternative possibilities for sex work landscapes.

Sexual and gender identity have also been the focus of much heated debate, especially in the last 5 years as debates about transgenderism have become more prominent. The increasing visibility/audibility of transgender people and issues related to trans rights have, in some cases, resulted in moral panics about trans people being in public spaces and using public facilities, especially toilets. Ultimately, trans folk have endured stigma and stereotypes because of their gendered/sexual identities and have been subject to discrimination and a denial of their human rights.

Advances in digital technology and the ‘app-ification’ of smart phones have had a profound impact on the socio-spatial dynamics of human sexuality and commericalised forms of sexual services. The emergence of dating websites, online escort agencies and personal ad sites, hook-up apps and web-camming for personal and commercial purposes have enhanced the opportunity for direct and indirect intimate and risqué experiences. Similarly, the rise of virtual reality, smart sex toys and sex robots have raised various questions about the future direction of human, gender and sexual relations.

In light of the highly complex and dynamic sexual landscapes that characterize the 21st century, this special session – #GeoSex18 – calls for papers that offer critical analyses on a range of myths, imaginaries and realities pertaining to sex, sexuality and sex work that speak to one or more of the following broad topics:

  • Community, diversity and mobility within the sex industry;
  • Community, diversity and mobility within the LGBT community;
  • Gender/sexual identities and fluidities;
  • Sexual dissidents, activism and advocacy;
  • Human trafficking/migrant sex workers;
  • Human and labour rights in sex work;
  • Gentrification and its impacts on queer spaces/red light districts;
  • Health and wellbeing amongst sexual minorities;
  • Stigma/stereotypes/social exclusion of sexual minorities and the sex industry;
  • Crime/violence towards sexual minorities and sex workers;
  • Production/distribution/consumption of pornography/adult entertainment;
  • Geographies of swinging/dogging/cruising;
  • Digital geographies of sex, sexuality and sex work;
  • Virtual reality, sexbots and human sexual relations;
  • Stigma and social exclusion of/in the sex industry;
  • Policing, criminal justice and sexed spaces;
  • Labour rights, health and safety issues within the sex industry;
  • Policy, politics and regulation of sexual landscapes;
  • Reproductive rights;
  • Liminal spaces/stigmatisation of sexuality, sex work and the sex industry;
  • BDSM/Kink/fetish spaces/communities; and
  • Censorship and sexualisation.

The #GeoSex18 special session series welcomes abstracts/papers from scholars, policy researchers within government agencies, consultancies, NGOs and sex work advocacy/support organisations and research-minded sex work activists from a range of disciplines and ideological/theoretical/methodological/empirical standpoints. If you are interested in taking part in this special session please send your abstract including: (i) paper title; (ii) author(s); (iii) institutional affiliation(s); (iv) email addresses; (v) a 250 word (maximum) abstract; and (vi) 5 key words to the co-convenors at GeoSex16@gmail.com by no later than 16th October 2017.

Co-Convenors:

 Dr Paul J. Maginn, University of Western Australia (Australia)

Dr. Emily Cooper, University of Central Lancashire (UK)

Dr. Erin Sanders-McDonagh, University of Kent (UK)

 

Erin also has a new book out this year, entitled Women And Sex Tourism Landscapes, published by Routledge, which may be of interest to potential presenters!   You can view the details here: https://www.routledge.com/Women-and-Sex-Tourism-Landscapes/Sanders-McDonagh/p/book/9781138814547 .

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UCLan Postgraduate Criminal Justice Seminar Series

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Calling all postgraduate students!

Beginning in the academic year 2016-2017, the Criminal Justice Partnership are starting a postgraduate criminal justice seminar series.  These events will provide a great opportunity for doctoral students to present their research in an informal setting to a varied audience (including School postgraduate students/colleagues, the wider University community and external guests) while also acting as a socialising and networking space.  The series is open to ALL students conducting research on, or of interest to, criminal justice, criminology and policing. The presentation formats and topics will vary and speakers are free to present at all stages of their research, covering any element of their research interests.  Suggestions for external speakers are always welcome and a timetable of events for the upcoming year will be produced.  Below are the details for event one:

Postgraduate Christmas Conference, Wednesday 7th December 1-4 p.m.

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Are you currently doing a PhD or Masters dissertation on topics within Criminal Justice, Criminology or Policing? Fancy an opportunity to present about your research, gain some valuable feedback, and network? Submit an abstract to the Postgraduate Christmas Conference!

Presentations will be 15 minutes long.  We will be joined by Prof. Stuart Kirby to do a closing chair discussion, and there will be opportunities to ask questions of your peers and share tales about the research process.

The event will be accompanied by mulled wine and appropriately-Christmassy cakes/nibbles, and we will head for a meal (optional) in the city after the event.  Students at ALL stages of their research are welcome to submit an abstract and the event is open to all.

Please submit an abstract (250 words maximum) to Emily Cooper (ecooper2@uclan.ac.uk) by Friday 11th November 2016

Call for Papers: Researching Sexed Spaces: (Re)Imagining the Researcher and (Re)Discovering the ‘Other’ in Understanding Lived Experiences of Exclusion”

I am very excited to announce our call for papers. The deadline for abstracts is very tight, 11th February, so please do share widely and contact us for any extra information.

The Royal Geographical Conference website is here 26th to 29th August 2014, held at Imperial College London.

We aim for this to be a cutting edge, innovative exciting stream, cutting across disciplines and attracting submissions from those outside academia. We particularly welcome abstracts from charities, independent researchers, and sex workers themselves.

All information below:

Session Title “Researching Sexed Spaces: (Re)Imagining the Researcher and (Re)Discovering the ‘Other’ in Understanding Lived Experiences of Exclusion” (Sponsored by the Space, Sexualities & Queer Research Group) Organisers: Emily Cooper (Lancaster University) and Gemma Ahearne (Leeds Metropolitan University)

Recent decades have produced a rapid emergence of research in geography surrounding the complex relationship between sexuality, space and society and the centrality of sexuality in the late modern world (Attwood 2006).  Of particular relevance – although not exhaustively – have been: the geographies of sex work, LGBT communities, virtual sexed spaces, sex tourism (especially in reaction to large sports events) and lap dancing establishments.  The role of space and place in the constitution of sexual identities – and in the control of those considered to be sexually dissident – have been understood by geographers particularly (Hubbard 2008).   This dissidence and often subsequent socio-spatial marginalisation especially relates to the challenge of heteronormative ideals and spaces that is ascribed to and by stigmatised sexual identities (Binnie and Valentine 1999; Peterson 2011; Hubbard et al 2013).

It has been acknowledged, therefore, that due to the stigmatised nature of certain sexual identities, it is difficult to access these hidden populations (Shaver 2005) and to provide them with a voice (Hubbard 1999).  Recently, however, there has been an increased interest in exploring methods that allow researchers to overcome and challenge the often homogeneous depictions of excluded groups (Binnie and Valentine 1999; Shaver 2005) and to explore the lived experiences of their socio-spatial spheres via the empowerment of the othered population; researching, therefore with participants rather than about them (Desyllass 2013) in the form of participatory methods, ethno-mimesis and other such approaches.  This culminates in the co-production of knowledge in research.  Exploring inter-disciplinarity – particularly between geography, sociology and the arts – is therefore of particular relevance.

We invite papers from a range of global contexts that explore researching sexed spaces, with a particular interest in methodological and empirical frameworks, but we would welcome a theoretical focus.  We also particularly encourage papers from outside of academia, including – but not restricted to – charities, outreach organisations and support groups, in order to encourage the forging of academic/activist/practitioner collaborations. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Inter-disciplinarity in researching sexed spaces

– New/adapted methods in understanding the lived experiences of stigma and exclusion

– Ethno-mimesis and performative praxis

– Researching liminal spaces and identities

– The Self/Other dichotomy

– The role of policy/regulation in shaping the geographies of sexed spaces

– Challenges faced in researching sexed spaces and/or marginalised groups

– Managing emotions in fieldwork

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Emily Cooper (e.cooper2@lancs.ac.uk) or Gemma Ahearne (g.ahearne6856@student.leedsmet.ac.uk) by 11th February 2014.

References
Attwood, F. (2006) “Sexed up: Theorizing the Sexualization of Culture”. Sexualities 9 (1), pp. 77-94

Binnie, J. and Valentine, G. (1999) Geographies of sexualities: a review of progress. Progress in Human Geography 23, pp. 175-187.

Desyllass, M. (2013) “Using photo-voice with sex workers: The power of art, agency and resistence”. Qualitative Social Work (available online http://qsw.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/22/1473325013496596.full.pdf+html)

Hubbard, P. (1999) “Researching female sex work: reflections on geographical exclusion, critical methodologies and ‘useful’ knowledge”. Area 31 (3), pp. 229-237

Hubbard, P. (2008). “Here, there, everywhere: the ubiquitous geographies of heteronormativity”. Geography Compass, 2 (3), pp. 640 – 658

Hubbard, P. Boydell, S., Crofts, P., Prior, J. and Searle, G. (2013) “Noxious neighbours? Interrogating the impacts of sex premises in residential areas”. Environment and Planning A 45, pp. 126-141

Peterson, G. (2011) “Neoliberal Homophobic Discourse: Heteronormative Human Capital and the Exclusion of Queer Citizens” Journal of Homosexuality 58 (6-7), pp. 747-757

Shaver, F. (2005) “Sex work research: methodological and ethical challenges”. Journal of Interpersonal Violence 20 (3), pp. 296-319