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K-State Today

March 21, 2019

Petillo contributes to academic conversation between queer migration studies and critical trafficking studies

Submitted by Russell Norris

April Petillo, assistant professor in American ethnic studies and affiliated with gender, women and sexuality studies, contributed the article "Marking Embodied Borders: Compulsory Settler Sexuality, Indigeneity, and U.S. Law" to the Women's Studies in Communications Journal's referred "Conversation and Commentary: Queer Migration Studies and Critical Trafficking Studies," published March 19.

Petillo's piece suggests that the U.S. sociolegal treatment of Indigenous peoples throughout history has informed how we perceive and embody borders. She asserts that a perspective including Indigenous critical studies encourages attention to how we understand and respond to the idea of borders, where the concept of borders operates as a colonial construct and how this is crucial to any conversation about the phenomena of migration, queer migration, and coercion into the sex industry.

This conversation between queer migrations studies scholars — including Eithne Luibhéid and Karma R. Chávez — critical trafficking studies scholars — including Annie Hill and Wendy Hesford — is one of the first of its kind. The American ethnic studies department is proud that Petillo has made such an important contribution to this timely conversation.

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