Speaker: Erin Kamler, Award-winning Author & Composer, M.A. Public Diplomacy, USC’s Annenberg School
Location: Santa Fe Women’s Club, 1616 Old Pecos Trail
Cost: $15 CIR Members; $20 Non-members & Guests
In this one-hour talk, Erin Kamler discusses the policies of the State Department-led anti-trafficking movement in Thailand. Situating her discussion in the context of feminist international relations, she argues that the anti-trafficking movement, as a state project, often puts its own interests before those of the women it is trying to help. Drawing on extensive field research in Thailand that includes interviews with policy makers, NGO employees, government officials, community-based organizations, immigration officers, female migrant laborers, and most critically, sex workers and trafficking survivors themselves, she explains how the anti-trafficking movement’s policies are rooted in the intersecting and often colliding cultural values of the United States and Thailand, and suggests that unless the movement re-positions women’s experiences at the forefront of its initiatives, these policies will continue to fail.
Erin Kamler is an award-winning composer, writer, musician and doctoral student whose current research focuses on using the arts as a tool for political communication. Her dissertation project engages a study of the trafficking of women in Thailand and critiques the State Department-driven anti-trafficking movement through the lens of culture and feminist international relations.
Conversationally fluent in the Thai language, Erin has conducted qualitative fieldwork with anti-trafficking NGOs, government actors, female migrants and trafficking survivors, and she is currently writing a musical, SURVIVE, based on her research. Erin holds a BA in music composition from Sarah Lawrence College and a masters in public diplomacy from USC’s AnnenbergSchool.