Department of Culture and Learning

COST Action Prospol Conference on ‘Displacing Sex for Sale’

Displacing Sex for Sale

 29th, 30th and 31st March 2017

Aalborg University
Copenhagen, Denmark

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The conference is fully booked. If you want to be put on a waiting list please contact the conference secretary at

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Confirmed speakers: Scott Cunningham; Kimberly Kay Hoang; Phil Hubbard; Nick Mai; Jens Rydström; May-Len Skilbrei; Marlene Spanger; Marjan Wijers.

To mark the end of its four-year activities, COST Action Prospol (‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ is hosting an international conference in Copenhagen on Displacing Sex for Sale.

By making the concept of displacement central to the conference we intend to encourage reflections on the dynamic character of sex for sale. This is approached as an unfolding process, embedded in and evolving as a result of political economic shifts and configurations, migration and mobility, the interconnectedness of events across the globe, technological advances, political interests, local and regional particularities, and shifting racial, sexual, and gender norms. The focus on displacement is also aimed at emphasising questions of place, belonging, exclusions and differentiated mobility and how these intersect with and shape sex work practices. In this context, (im)material, (il)licit, forbidden or facilitated mobilities of people, policies and discourses are all factors that we wish to consider in order to expand our understandings of sex for sale in the current global order. Finally, we encourage reflections on ways in which we can ‘dis-place’ and move away from fixed and reductionist approaches to the understanding of sex for sale and its regulation.

With a focus on sex for sale we seek to address these questions:

What processes of mobility control and displacement are in place across the globe, and with what consequences for the governance of sex for sale? How can questions of space and place help us understand current sex markets’ formations and the experiences of those who operate in them? What are the structures, institutions and cultures that shape the micropractices of the organisation of sex work? How do sex markets and their segments respond to political economic shifts? How are new technologies and media changing forms of and engagements in commercial sex, and how can we learn more about these? What are the emotions, dreams, desires and expectations invested in sex for sale by the many different actors involved in it, including activists, policy makers and policy enforcers? How can we make sense of the nexus between historical and contemporary (dis)placements in the understanding of sex for sale? How does the mobility of people, concepts and ideas contribute to shaping understandings of and responses to sex for sale? What are the potentials for theorising the intersection of markets, sex and intimate relationships? And what are the methodological challenges and possibilities in researching these intersections empirically?


‘Displacing sex for sale’ is supported by both COST (, via COST Action IS1209 Prospol of which the University of Essex (UK) is grant holder institution, and the Carlsberg Foundation, and it is generously hosted by Aalborg University.


Conference Chair Marlene Spanger     
Conference Co-Chair/COST Action Prospol Chair Isabel Crowhurst

Conference secretary Julie Skibsted Larsen

Call for papers
Conference committees

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