LEX Research Network
Law, Gender & Sexuality

LEX seminar: Prof. Samantha Majic

'Lights, Camera, Feminism? Celebrities and Anti-Trafficking Politics'

About the book

Celebrities in the United States have drawn significant attention and resources to the complex issue of human trafficking—a subject of feminist concern—and they are often criticized for promoting sensationalized and simplistic understandings of the issue. In this comprehensive analysis of celebrities’ anti-trafficking activism, however, Samantha Majic finds that this phenomenon is more nuanced: even as some celebrities promote regressive issue narratives and carceral solutions, others use their platforms to elevate more diverse representations of human trafficking and feminist analyses of gender inequality. Lights, Camera, Feminism? thus argues that we should understand celebrities as multilevel political actors whose activism is shaped and mediated by a range of personal and contextual factors, with implications for feminist and democratic politics more broadly.

More information about the book here!

About the author

Samantha Majic (PhD: Government, Cornell University) is Professor of Political Science at John Jay College-CUNY, and a member of the doctoral faculty in the Political Science and Criminal Justice programs at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her research lies in gender and American politics, with specific interests in sex work, celebrity and politics, and civic engagement. She is the author of Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service Provision (University of Pennsylvania Press), co-author (with Carisa Showden) of Youth Who Trade Sex in the US: Agency, Intersectionality, and Vulnerability (Temple University Press), and the co-editor (with Carisa Showden) of Negotiating Sex Work: Unintended Consequences of Policy and Activism (University of Minnesota Press). Her most recent book, Lights, Camera, Feminism? Celebrities and Anti-Trafficking Politics, was published with the University of California Press in May 2023. Her research has also appeared in numerous political science and gender studies journals. A Fellow of the American Association of University Women, and a Woodhull Freedom Foundation grantee, Dr. Majic is also a member of the editorial boards for The American Political Science Review, Perspectives on Politics, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and Critical Policy Studies.