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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Afro-American Studies

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Traci Parker

Second Advisor

James Smethurst

Third Advisor

TreaAndrea Russworm

Subject Categories

Africana Studies | Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Women's Studies


“The (Un)Willing Machine: Black Women, Sex Work, and Technology, 1880-2015” is a historical study of the theoretical and practical relationship between Black women who engage in various aspects of the sex industry and technologies of their time. It argues that Black women’s relationship to technology has been fundamentally impacted by the historical usage of their bodies as machines of reproduction and labor while also arguing that Black women sex workers provide a nuanced lens to view this relationship due to the recognized links between their labor and their bodies. Each chapter undertakes a new technology or innovation to show the breadth of the ties between the sex industry, race, gender, and technology. Drawing from history, cultural studies, digital culture studies, and Black feminist theories, “The (Un)Willing Machine” proves that Black women sex workers have a specialized relationship with technology that can be seen through their acts of subversion and their negotiations of sexual labor.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Available for download on Friday, September 01, 2028