March 22: Sex-Work, Social Citizenship, and the Ethics of Care in the Contemporary City

Sex-Work, Social Citizenship, and the Ethics of Care in the Contemporary City

Ebru Ustundag
Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Tourism Studies, Brock University


Feminist geographers’ contributions to understanding power relations in relation to self, identity, subjectivity, and knowledge production currently shape contemporary theoretical and methodological discussions in geographical thought. Questions especially around the politics of social reproduction and struggles regarding the microgeographies of everyday life have been crucial topics of inquiry for the field where various debates have highlighted the contested constitutions of political subjects, subjectivities, and subjections in and through various spaces and across scales. Within these discussions, there has been a specific emphasis on understandings of the symbolic, physical, and legal violence that have marked women’s bodies and have profoundly changed the materiality of their everyday lives in the contemporary city. Urban feminist scholars have highlighted the marginalization and exclusion of any political subject that doesn’t fit into political imaginaries of particular dominant discourses. By incorporating debates around sex-work and social citizenship, this talk aims to map out the social geographies of contemporary cities—from North America to the European Union, and beyond—within the context of an ethics of care and scholarly activism.

Ebru Ustundag is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Tourism Studies at Brock University. Ebru's primary fields of study include urban geography, citizenship studies, feminist geographies, geographies of sex-work, geographies of health and addiction, and scholarly-activism. Ebru is currently researching questions of social citizenship and the microgeographies of street-level sex workers in contemporary cities.


This City Talk was co-sponsored by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union through the Jean Monnet EU Centre of Excellence at the University of Victoria.