Oakland Book Festival / The Work of Sex Work

A panel discussion as part of the Oakland Book Festival. Free and open to the public. More information.

Sex work continues to simultaneously titillate and scandalize the ever seducible bourgeoisie. But behind the peephole sensationalism and the hand-wringing is a ruthless economy and an army of workers to whom both progressives and conservatives persistently condescend. This panel will address the politics and criminalization of sex work, and the deeper socioeconomic prejudices and misconceptions that deny such labor dignity.

ELIZABETH ALICE CLEMENT is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Utah, and a prominent scholar of prostitution and the ways it broadens our understanding of race, gender, and class.

MELISSA GIRA GRANT is a writer covering sex, tech, and politics. Her latest book, Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work, challenges the myths about selling sex and those who perpetuate them. She is a columnist at Pacific Standard, and her reporting has appeared in The Nation, Wired, The Guardian, Slate, Buzzfeed, and VICE.

RAMONA NADDAFF (moderator) is Associate Professor of Rhetoric at UC Berkeley and an editor of Zone Books. Author of Exiling the Poets: The Production of Poetry in Plato’s Republic, she writes on philosophy and literature, and literary censorship.