Jayne A Swift

Doctoral Candidate in Feminist Studies. My dissertation, “Lusty Ladies: Sex Work and Sex-Positive Politics, 1970-2013” offers a cultural history of sex worker social movements in the late-20th century United States. Using the Lusty Lady theater (a historically-significant and recently closed legal commercial sex franchise), I argue that people in the sex trade have challenged their social marginalization and criminalization, and made their employment legible as work, through authoring discourses of “sex-positive” feminism. My dissertation research has been supported by several competitive fellowships, including the Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellowship in Women’s Studies and the University of Minnesota’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. My additional research interests include histories of gender and sexuality, critical sexuality and GLBTQ studies, labor studies, and oral history

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • B.A.: Women's Studies, University of Iowa, 2004.
  • M.A.: Women's Studies, University of Iowa, 2006.
  • M.A.: Cultural Studies, University of Washington, 2010.


  • Commercial Sex Cultures & Obscenity
  • Queer and Feminist Theory
  • History of Sexuality
  • U. S. social history
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • cultural studies
  • Labor studies
  • queer/sexuality studies
  • oral history
Research & Professional Activities

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Assistant: Gender & History , 2016-2018
  • Co-Organizer, Gender, Sexuality, Power & Politics Colloquium Series: Fall 2013 - Present
  • Producer: Sexing History (podcast) , 2018
  • Research Assistant: Interdisciplinary Collaborative on Intersectional Feminist Food , 2018-2019
  • "Whores in the Religious Marketplace: Sex-Positivity's Roots in Commercial Sex Cultures": Swift, Jayne, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Forthcoming (2019).
  • “Life’s Too Short to Wear Comfortable Shoes: Femme-ininity and Sex Work,“ Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style, (SUNY Press, 2012) eds. Marjorie Jolles and Shira Tarrant
  • K. Lerum, P. Saunders, D. Barlin, S. Wahab, J. Swift ( February 2011). "Reducing Violence Against Sex Workers: What are the Poicy Options?". Policy brief delivered to U.S. State Department (Universal Periodic Review process),
  • Review of Neon Wasteland: On Love, Motherhood, and Sex Work in a Rust Belt Town, by Susan Dewey..: Swift, Jayne, Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work, 446-447, (November 2011).
  • Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Grant in Women's Studies, 2015
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship - University of Minnesota Graduate School, 2015 - 2016