Department of Culture and Learning

Paper proposals

Displacing Sex for Sale

 29th, 30th and 31st March 2017

Aalborg University
Copenhagen, Denmark

Deadline: 1st October 2016


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

Call for Papers

To mark the end of its four-year activities, COST Action Prospol (‘Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance’ will host 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?

Theoretically and/or empirically informed abstracts are encouraged on themes including (but not limited to):

  • Regulation and control
  • Affective investments
  • Technologies and media
  • Sex markets’ segmentation
  • Mobility, belonging and exclusions
  • Sex, work and global displacements of people and capitals
  • Clients, gender and new transnational markets
  • Methodological and epistemological challenges and possibilities

Submission guidelines

We invite proposals for papers that address these questions and the theme of the conference.

Please submit individual paper proposals of 200-300 words, including 3-5 keywords. Please indicate if your paper fits any of the themes listed above.

Proposals for panels of three or maximum four related papers should include a 200-300 word description as well as individual paper proposals (200-300 words each).

Please upload your submissions by 1st October 2016 here


  1. Log into the submission page provided by EasyChair by following the link above. Users of EasyChair may log into EasyChair using their existing “user name” and “password”. New users must sign up for an EasyChair account on the EasyChair website. 
  2. When logged into EasyChair click on the “New Submission” button in the top left corner.
  3. Please fill in the required information under “Authors” and paste your abstract text into the form, add “Keywords” and upload your abstract in PDF format too. 
  4. Click on the “Submit” button.

If you have any questions or problems regarding the submission please send an email to

Acceptance decisions will be communicated by mid-November 2016. Presenters will need to register by mid-December 2016. Registration to the conference will cost 1000 Danish Krone (650 Danish Krone for the discounted fee) per delegate, including VAT, lunches, reception, coffee/tea breaks. A small number of registration fee-waiver bursaries will be available.

The working language of the conference is English.

Displacing Sex for Sale is a conference organised by COST Action Prospol ( in collaboration with Aalborg University and the University of Essex. 

Download call for papers 


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

Conference secretary Julie Skibsted Larsen

conference committees

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