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Department of Geography

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Departmental Seminar Series: Dr Rutvica Andrijasevic, The Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester

23rd May 2012, 14:00 to 16:00, W007, Main Geography Building, Dr Rutvica Andrijasevic

Dr Rutvica Andrijasevic, The Centre for Labour Market Studies, University of Leicester

Title: Sex, Slaves and Citizens: Gender and the Politics of Mobility

In this talk I will address the ways in which current reconfiguration of the modes of governing in Europe are playing themselves out at the level of the subject and the impact they are having on individual experience of gender difference and sexuality. The topic through which I tackle these issues is that of ‘sex trafficking’. By grounding my analysis in women’s subjectivities and undertaking a detailed investigation of women’s migratory projects, their cross-border journeys, working arrangements with third parties, and tensions that arouse from women’s attempts to identify as victims, I aim to bring to the fore the relationship between the enactment of mobility at the ‘micro’ level and its unequal distribution at the ‘macro’ level. I will argue that trafficking discourse and anti-trafficking policies normalise a differential regime of mobility through which the EU organises access to its labour market and citizenship. With its emphasis on criminal organisations and victimised women, the discourse on sex trafficking as the new slave trade depoliticises the debate on migration and labour. It also closes down the possibility for seeing the ways in which migrant women’s assertion of social positions that are not deemed legitimate for victims of ‘sex trafficking’ presses onto and reshapes citizenship in Europe. 

Rutvica Andrijasevic works at the Centre for Labour Market Studies and School of Management, Leicester University. She is the author of "Migration, Agency and Citizenship in Sex Trafficking" (Palgrave, 2010) and has co-edited with Bridget Anderson a special issue of the journal Subjectivity entitled "Conflicts of Mobility: Migration, Labour and Political Subjectivity." Her academic, policy and activist engagements are with issues of gender, sexuality and citizenship in Europe. She is a member of the editorial collective Feminist Review.

Chair: Andrew Baldwin

Contact linda.marchant@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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