This talk will focus on young sex workers in Victorian England, and the ways in which reformers who framed them as “children” worked to take away their agency, and to frame all sex work as non-consensual “trafficking” (something that carries over into contemporary anti-sex work rhetoric). Gryctko will also discuss the way these girls were able to use the identity of child themselves, and who was able to use it successfully versus who was excluded from conventional childhood.
This talk will be held via Zoom and will include a Q&A with Mary Gryctko. Please register here and let us know if you plan to come and if you will need any accommodations. You can also access the presentation directly via the Zoom link. Please be sure to update your Zoom before joining the meeting.
Mary Gryctko is the visiting scholar for WGSS for the 2021-2022 academic year. She holds a PhD in English Literature and a certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include Victorian literature and culture, childhood studies, medical humanities, and gender and sexuality studies. She is currently working on her first book project, which explores the Victorian cult of the dead child. As a visiting scholar at Northeastern, she plans to begin work on a project tracing the nineteenth-century origins of contemporary anti-sex work rhetoric, focusing in particular on the utility and destructiveness of the identity of “child” for young sex workers in Victorian England.