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Book Talk with Professor Elena Shih


Elena Shih (Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies, Brown University)

The graduate students of the East Asian & Diaspora Studies Working Group invite you to attend a book talk with Professor Elena Shih as she discusses her 2023 publication: "Manufacturing Freedom: Sex Work, Anti-Trafficking Rehab, and the Racial Wages of Rescue." A reception follows the talk. RSVP directly to EADS to attend the reception: About the book: Sex worker rescue programs have become a core focus of the global movement to combat human trafficking. While these rehabilitation programs promise freedom from enslavement and redemptive wages for former sex workers, such organizations actually propagate a moral economy of low‑wage women's work that obfuscates relations of race, gender, national power, and inequality. Manufacturing Freedom is an ethnographic exploration of two American organizations that offer vocational training in jewelry production to women migrants in China and Thailand as a path out of sex work. In this innovative study, Elena Shih argues that anti‑trafficking rescue and rehabilitation projects profit off persistent labor abuse of women workers and imagined but savvily marketed narratives of redemption. About the speaker: Elena Shih is Manning Assistant Professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University, where she directs a human trafficking research cluster through the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. Event organized by the East Asian & Diaspora Studies Group and APSI with support from the program in Asian American & Diaspora Studies, the program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and the Franklin Humanities Institute (FHI) at Duke University.


Asia focus, Civic Engagement/Social Action, Diversity/Inclusion, Ethics, Global, Health/Wellness, Human Rights, Humanities, Lecture/Talk, Politics, Research, Social Sciences, United States Focus