Consumable Sexual Excess: Trafficking, Justice and“Un-Settling” the Meaning of “Free”

02/18/2019 - 3:00pm
330E Student Center
Speaker(s) / Presenter(s): 
April Petillo

Often discussed as individual vulnerabilities exploited by a nefarious “other,” the blueprint for US trafficking began before the establishment of the nation-state—specifically, with the forced movement of indigenous peoples purportedly for the protection of a burgeoning citizenry.  Imagining an indigenous legal futurity, Dr. April Petillo envisions how justice more dependent on radical freedom from targeting than on capture and removal might improve anti-trafficking interventions. Blending legal ethnography, critical trafficking studies and sociolegal analysis reliant on indigenous critique/perspective, Dr. Petillo interrogates the ways that existing anti-trafficking efforts as constitutive tools of a punitive criminal system.  Using her work gathering indian country policy influencer perspectives on claims of targeted recruitment of indigenous peoples for sex trafficking, Dr. Petillo examines how trafficking discourse informed by “law-and-order” feminist rhetoric derails decolonial efforts and reifies jurisdictional coloniality. from this perspective, existing interventions are narrowly defined distractions which simultaneously divert attention from the structural violences that they represent as they increase harm and decrease justice for racialized peoples.  Dr. Petillo also addresses where this perspective shines a different light on approaches grounded in community-defined justice and decolonization than on incarceration.

Sponsored by Gender & Women’s Studies and the College of Arts & Sciences
Co-sponsored by African American & Africana studies

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