Speaking

Melissa Gira Grant speaking

I speak widely on sexuality, gender, rights, and justice to audiences worldwide, at institutions such as Duke University, Yale University, the New School, Third Wave Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, Eyebeam Art + Technology Center, and the UC Berkeley Labor Center, and at events including South by Southwest Interactive (USA), re:publica (Germany), NEXT (Denmark), the Oakland Book Festival (USA), the Brooklyn Book Festival (USA), Bristol Festival of Ideas (UK), and the International AIDS Conference (Mexico).

Events

  • Wed
    13
    Feb
    2019
    5:00 pmRoxy Cinema, 2 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

    ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ . . . the 2009 Sundance winning documentary, which tells the story of web entrepreneur, social media visionary, artist / in the sense that Andy Warhol was, in the greater picture, & very outrageous master of ceremonies . . . JOSH HARRIS.

    in celebration of its . . .10th Anniversary . . . screens . . .
    at The Roxy Hotel, in Tribeca, NYC / a location just blocks from the original downtown ‘bunker’ !!

    DIRECTOR ONDI TIMONER . . . will be on hand to do a Q & A

  • Wed
    17
    Apr
    2019
    6:00 pmHannah Arendt Center, Bard College

    Hidden in Plain Sight: Propaganda, Surveillance, and the 21st-Century Vilification of Sex Workers

    It’s been one year since President Trump signed SESTA/FOSTA into law, a bill its supporters said would protect women and girls from trafficking into the sex trade. In this talk, we will work to make sense of how an obscure, complicated law like SESTA/FOSTA pushed the issue of sex workers’ rights into the public square, while sex workers simultaneously experienced more censorship and platform discrimination online.

    We will trace the paradox sex workers currently face to the historic role sex workers have been cast in—as disruptive, as others, as dirt—over a century of attempts to scapegoat sex workers in moments of political upheaval, the expansion of surveillance and the rapid spread of propaganda through new technologies, and the threat of authoritarianism. In those times, as in this one, fearmongering and propaganda enjoyed a feedback loop, creating an enabling environment for repression and violence. What can we learn about the current attacks on sex workers from the closure of red-light districts a century ago, or in the witch hunts of 500 years ago? This was the fallout of SESTA/FOSTA: lawmakers claimed they were protecting vulnerable women and children from the dangers posed by traffickers and the internet. Yet lawmakers created a situation where vulnerable communities were exposed to more violence—not hidden in plain sight, but simply ignored.

    This event is free and open to the public.

    Danielle Blunt is a NYC-based dominatrix, a full-spectrum doula, and a sex worker rights activist. She studies power dynamics through kinesthetic modalities and researches the intersection of public health, sex work and equitable access to tech. Currently she is getting her master's at the CUNY School of Public Health. She enjoys watching her community thrive and making men cry.

    Melissa Gira Grant is a senior staff reporter covering criminal justice at the Appeal and the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso). She has been a contributing writer at the Village Voice and Pacific Standard, and her work has also appeared in the Guardian, the New York TimesBuzzFeed News, the New York Review of Books, and the Nation, among other publications. Her essays are collected in Best Sex WritingThe Feminist Utopia Project, and Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo. She lives in New York.

  • Sat
    18
    May
    2019
    5:00 pmBluestockings, 172 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

    Red Light Reader is a book club that seeks to create a safe space for sex workers and allies. We seek to facilitate dialogue about sex worker rights, and its intersections with technology, race, migration, labor, LGBTQ+ and women’s rights.

    May’s Book: Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work by Melissa Gira Grant

  • Wed
    25
    Sep
    2019
    7:00 pmBluestockings, 172 Allen St, New York, NY 10002

    Join your community for a celebration of Tina Horn’s new kinky queer sex work dystopian sci-fi comic book series SfSx (Safe Sex) from Image Comics: featuring a talkback with one of the best journos on the sex work beat, Melissa Gira Grant, and a special fetish cake-sitting by Lindsay Dye.

    Tina Horn (she/her) hosts and produces the kinky sexuality podcast Why Are People Into That?!. She is a Rolling Stone reporter, the author of two nonfiction books, and the writer/creator of the scifi comic book series SFSX. Tina has lectured on sex work politics and queer BDSM cultures all over North America. @Tinahornsass / TinaHorn.net

    Melissa Gira Grant (she/her) is the author of Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work (Verso). She has been a contributing writer at the Village Voice and Pacific Standard, and her work has also appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, BuzzFeed News, the New York Review of Books, and the Nation, among others. Her essays are collected in Best Sex Writing, The Feminist Utopia Project, and Where Freedom Starts: Sex Power Violence #MeToo. She lives in New York. @melissagira