At the Limits of “By and For”: Space, Struggle, and the Nonprofitization of Queer Youth

In the fall of 2010, I received an email solicitation that began: “It’s been said that the act of coming out is a political act. I disagree. Hardly a week goes by when a sports figure, actor, musician or another celebrity comes out with little fanfare. The political act has become a more personal act. […]

Double Exposure—Sex Workers, Biomedical Prevention Trials, and the Dual Logic of Global Public Health

All clinical trials involve an implicit social contract whose redistributive politics are rarely questioned. A small population of research subjects (perhaps a few thousand at most) will be subjected to the unknown risks of consuming an investigational new drug so that these risks will become calculable for the population at large. Unknown risks for the […]

Paradoxes of Neoliberalism

Paradoxes of Neoliberalism is a video by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, featuring interviews with Sealing Cheng, Lisa Duggan, Dean Spade, Elizabeth Bernstein, Miranda Joseph, Sandra K. Soto, Teresa Gowan, and Kate Bedford. As Professor Cheng describes in the video’s opening sequence, the economics and politics of neoliberalism are riddled with paradoxes and […]

What is Neoliberalism?

What is Neoliberalism? is a video by the Barnard Center for Research on Women, featuring interviews with Lisa Duggan, Miranda Joseph, Sealing Cheng, Elizabeth Bernstein, Dean Spade, Sandra K. Soto, Teresa Gowan, and Ana Amuchástegui. In the video, contributors describe the various meanings that have been attributed to the term “neoliberalism,” the neoliberal economic policies […]

At the Intersection of Urban Renewal and Anti-trafficking Projects: Neoliberalism and a Red-light District in Seoul, South Korea

In January 2009, we started a photovoice project with ten women sex workers in the Yongsan red-light district, an area targeted for demolition. Together with its surrounding neighborhoods, the red-light district occupied a prime location in front of a major train station in Seoul. A week after the project was begun, the National Alliance of […]

Beyond Marriage and the Military: Race, Gender, and Radical Sexual Politics in the Age of Neoliberalism

I define neoliberalism as the investment and integration of social movements into state-sponsored institutions, such as electoral power, market power, marriage, citizenship, and the military. In my current project, I am examining how black lesbians and transgender women negotiate their gender/sexual identities and their home communities, and how this affects their mental and physical health. […]

Securing Rights and Seeking Justice in the US Deportation Regime

State-Led Assault on Migrants and Sex Workers A repressive immigration regime premised on raids, arrests, and deportations has profoundly shaped US antitrafficking policy. Only a small number—under 4,000—of exploited migrants have been assisted by antitrafficking policies. Meanwhile, vast numbers of migrant workers labor unprotected and live in fear of detection and deportation. Under the rubric […]

Spatial Stigma, Sexuality, and Neoliberal Decline in Detroit, Michigan

During the past two years, I have been engaged in a multidisciplinary ethnographic project funded under the Ford Foundation initiative, “Youth Sexuality, Health, and Rights in the United States.” The project examines the structural climate of youth sexuality and sexual health through a political economic lens, focusing specifically on three different modalities of sexual commerce […]

Thinking Through “Neoliberalism” in the Twenty-first Century

Article note.[1] The term “neoliberalism” has come to mark an era. In its initial instantiations, this term described a critique of a set of economic policies that included privatization and lowering tariffs pertaining to imports and exports of raw materials and retail goods. The latter set of policies, also known as “free trade” agreements, drove […]

Embodying the Sexual Limits of Neoliberalism

I begin this article by reflecting on one of the biggest professional mistakes I have ever made. I became a part of corporate humanitarianism in 2006, when IOM Korea invited me to be part of a research project on trafficking of Korean women overseas, sponsored by the Bom-bit Foundation, an NGO set up by the […]