In this talk, Jones grounds analysis of years of empirical data in what they term the Black feminist erotic imagination, making a case for centering erotic spheres of life in sociological inquiry. Their work theorizes systems of power alongside Black pleasure, joy, and embodiments, advocating for Black sexual freedoms. Jones discusses how white supremacy, anti-blackness, and sexual racism shape sexual commerce and workers' experiences of their labor. Racism and anti-blackness disadvantage workers of color, especially Black women. Still, workers also engage in what Black feminist scholars call illicit eroticism and reappropriate racialized and gendered sexual scripts regarding Black women’s sexualities in subversive ways—in ways that increase their material gains and in ways workers often describe as empowering and pleasurable.
Angela Jones is Professor of Sociology and Department Chair at Farmingdale State College, State University of New York. Jones's research interests include African American political thought and protest, sex work, race, gender, sexuality, feminist theory, Black feminisms, and queer methodologies and theory. They are currently working on their first trade monograph, tentatively entitled Erotic Power: The Social Life of Sexuality (under contract with Seal Press and imprint of Hachette). Jones is the author of Camming: Money, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Industry (NYU Press, 2020) and African American Civil Rights: Early Activism and the Niagara Movement (Praeger, 2011).
Jones's most recent and forthcoming publications also include African American Activism and Political Engagement: An Encyclopedia of Empowerment, published in 2023, and a forthcoming book, Black Lives Matter: A Reference Handbook both with Bloomsbury. Jones is also co-editor of a forthcoming volume called Sex Work Now: Erotic Labor in the 21st Century (New York University Press).
Jones is co-editor of the three-volume After Marriage Equality book series (Routledge, 2018). Jones has also edited two other anthologies: The Modern African American Political Thought Reader: From David Walker to Barack Obama (Routledge, 2012), and A Critical Inquiry into Queer Utopias (Palgrave, 2013). They are also the author of scholarly articles, which have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Social Problems, Gender & Society; Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society; Sexualities; Disability Studies Quarterly; Porn Studies; International Journal of Gender, Sexuality, and Law; Culture, Health, and Sexuality; Sociology Compass; Fat Studies. An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society; Sexuality and Culture; Sociological Focus; The Journal of Historical Sociology; and Interalia: a Journal of Queer Studies. Jones also writes for public audiences and has published articles in venues such as Contexts (digital), The Conversation, the Nevada Independent, Peepshow Magazine, PopMatters, and Salon.
Co-Sponsored with the Department of Sociology