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"Most Accessible and Captivating Work"

News: Nov 08, 2017

Susanne Åsman, social anthropologist at the School of Global Studies, has been awarded one of ICAS (International Convention of Asia Scholars) 2017 book awards for her dissertation “Bombay going: Migration, return and anti-trafficking in the lives of Nepali migrant sex workers”.

The dissertation was awarded the Most Accessible and Captivating Work for the Non-Specialist Reader Accolade. ICAS writes:

“Susanne Åsman, whose Bombay Going: Migration, Return and Anti-trafficking in the Lives of Nepali Migrant Sex Workers offers a compelling analysis of actors and agents in the sub-continental sex trade in modern India.”

The dissertation provides an ethnographic account of how Tamang women and men in the Sindhupalchowk district, Nepal, understand what they define as “Bombay going” or migration for sex work. Very little, if anything, has been said about sex trafficking and anti-trafficking efforts from the perspective of Tamang women besides the studies based on the rehabilitation and reintegration programmes led by anti-trafficking organisations that concentrate exclusively on the women’s identity as victims. Susanne Åsman focused instead on women’s agency and the meaning they ascribe to their roles as sex workers in the migratory process in the present and the past. Of central importance is the women’s return to their natal or conjugal house after years of sex work in the red light district and their lived everyday lives as wives, mothers and daughters.

Susanne Åsman will be a visiting research scholar at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, from the autumn of 2017 to 2019. During this time, she will be working on her new project “Navigators of the ’in-between’: Brokers manouvring il/legal terrains of gendered labour migration".


About ICAS Book Prize:
The ICAS Book Prize (IBP) was established by the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in 2004. It aims to create an international focus for academic publications on Asia, thus increasing their worldwide visibility. The biennial ICAS Book Prize is awarded for outstanding English-language works and dissertations on Asia, in the Humanities and Social Sciences.


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