Journal of Women’s History Special Issue “Migration, Sex, and Intimate Labor, 1850-2000”
Call for Abstracts—Journal of Women’s History Special Issue “Migration, Sex, and Intimate Labor, 1850-2000”
The Journal of Women’s History is seeking expressions of interest to submit articles to a special issue on migration, sex, and intimate labor in the period between 1850 and 2000, in any local, national, transnational, or global context. It seeks to frame “intimate labor” within the long history of women’s involvement in domestic and sexual markets and their movement across and within borders for myriad forms of care and body work (Boris and Parreñas, 2010). This special issue will be positioned within an emergent historiography that examines the practices, discourses, regulation of, and attempts to suppress what has come to be known as “trafficking,” while foregrounding the ways in which a historical lens can destabilize this term. Such research brings the gendered and sexual history of migration and labor into dialogue with new literatures on the history of globalization, capitalism, citizenship, and mobility. It also speaks to on-going concerns in contemporary politics around the relationship between labor and movement, “forced” and “free” migration, and the politics of humanitarianism. As such, while firmly historical, this special issue will engage with and contribute to ongoing interdisciplinary discussions about “modern slavery,” international law, human rights, and the gendered migrant subject.
We are especially interested in work that:
- Engages critically with the historical production of categories such as “trafficking,” “smuggling,” and migratory “illegality” as they have pertained to women’s migration
- Examines sexual labor in the context of gendered migration and the broader category of intimate labor(s)
- Explores the historical lived experience of migrating for intimate, domestic, and sexual labor
- Looks at local, national, and international responses to female migrants who were defined as trafficked, illegal, or exploited
- Places trafficking and women’s intimate labor within a wider discourse of indenture, slavery and un-freedom; as well as imperialism, mobility, and globalization
We are interested in any thematic or methodological approach, but would especially welcome work that focuses on the global south, imperial contexts, and non-white subjects. Work can be locally, nationally, transnationally, globally, or comparatively focused. All submissions must be historical in focus.