Marie-Louise Janssen got her master degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam in 1991.
After finishing her study she started working in Nicaragua as a coordinator of women projects. There she became interested in male street sexworkers and started working with them on health issues and empowerment activities. In 1992 she returned to the Netherlands where she continued working with Latin American sex workers. In 1993 she founded together with a Colombian colleague Foundation Esperanza, a Colombian-Dutch NGO dedicated to the prevention and combating of human trafficking in Latin American women, as well as organizing shelter and legal support to victims of human trafficking for the European sex industry.
In 2007 she received her PhD with the title: Sex Workers on the Move. Latin American Women in the European Sex Industry. The research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and 30 life stories of Latin American sex workers. By applying the methodology of oral history, she seeks to provide insight into the way these immigrants are working and surviving in the margins of Dutch society within the specific context of the Dutch sex industry, as well as in their home countries, and the personal interpretations they give to their identities as women, immigrants and sex workers. As these women are coming from Latin America, their notions are subject to change during their stay in Europe, as well as afterwards when they return to Latin America. For this reason she collected one third of the lifes stories in the Domician Republic.
Marie-Louise Janssen lectures in the areas of gender and sexuality studies, social sciences and research methods and techniques at the department of Sociology of the University of Amsterdam, and has published extensively on the intersection of sex work, migration and human trafficking. Her current research project is oriented on Chinese masseuses in the Netherlands and sex work in the Dutch colonial past in the Caribbean.
Janssen participates in COST network: 'Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance', and in Swexpertise, platform for the improvement of the position of sex workers in the Netherlands.
(Forthcoming) Janssen, M. and Oliveira, A. 'Introduction: Special Section 'Female Clients of Commercial Sex', Sexualities.
(Forthcoming) Chapter 5 Sex Work Activism and Intersectionality: The role of stigma in uniting sex workers. In: L. Nencel and M. Skilbrei (eds.) Reworking Stigma through Sex Work Studies. Oxford: Routledge.
(2020) Sex and Secrecy in the Field: Methodological Dilemmas in Research on Chinese Massage Parlours. In: The Sage Handbook of Global Sexualities, p. 183-203.
(2019) Ine Vanwesenbeeck, Marie-Louise Janssen, and Marjan Wijers, 'Duizenden Slachtoffers van Seksuele Uitbuiting: Feit of Frame?', Tijdschrift voor Seksuologie, mei 2019. https://www.tijdschriftvoorseksuologie.nl/media/k2/attachments/Vanwesenbeeck_et_al.pdf
(2018) 'Alex Bakker, Transgender in Nederland. Een buitengewone geschiedenis', BMGN-Low Countries Historical Review, 133. DOI: https://www.bmgn-lchr.nl/articles/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.10635/
(2018) 'Universities as Spaces of sexual Diversity: Students Engaged in Sex Work in Amsterdam', Realising Justice for Sex Workers. An Agenda for Change, S.A.FitzGerald and K. McGarry (eds.), London: Rowman & Littlefield International, pp. 81-101.
(2018) ‘The Fluidity of a happy ending. Chinese masseuses in the Netherlands’, in: Understanding Sex for Sale: Meanings and Moralities of Sexual Commerce, May-Len Skilbrei and Marlene Spanger (eds.). Oxford: Routledge, pp. 142-158.
(2017) 'De ongemakkelijke relatie tussen migratie en sekswerk', Tijdschrift voor Criminologie 2017 (59) 1-2, pp: 206-209.
(2016) Niels Spierings & Marie-Louise Janssen, ‘Gender in het huidige sociologie onderwijs: thema en/of perspectief’, Tijdschrift voor Gender Studies, Vol. 19, no. 2, 2016.
(2016) Students and Sex Work, Sociologie Magazine, 24, nr.1, Maart 2016: 18-20.
This academic year Marie-Louise Janssen is teaching the courses:
This course examines the historical evolution, different policy approaches, and political, cultural and feminist discourses concerning prostitution used to approach the subject, and intends to engage the students in efforts to articulate their own position concerning the issue of sexwork. It gives insights into the complexity of the subject and contests the myths and prejudices concerning prostitution by replacing them with a culturally specific analysis that can account for change overtime as well developmental and regional differences. A range of subjects will be treated in the course,including the different histories of prostitution in different regions of the world, female, male, transgender and child prostitution, human trafficking, clientsand sextourism. Guest speakers representing key Dutch organizations will provide informative sessions on several of the issues.
This course introduces the key themes and theories in the field of gender and sexuality studies. Its first part is devoted to the historical development of the social meaning of gender and sexuality and how it differs from natural - or essentialist - explanations. We will examine the political critique of inequalities as articulated by social movements, like feminists and gays, and assess how it has contributed to the emergence of gender and sexuality studies. On the basis of classic and contemporary texts it introduces students to the main concepts, theories and debates in an interdisciplinary perspective.
The aim of the course is to study gender in interplay with other social categorizations and power differentials such as ethnicity, class, nationality, sexuality, age and (dis)ability. To examine how the interconnections, tensions, and harmonies between gender and other ‘social categorizations’ function as systems of privilege and/or oppression, it will be explored how people can be advantaged and disadvantaged simultaneously. To gain an understanding of the development of the concept of intersectionality recent developments in intersectionality theory will be discussed. It will also be analyzed how the paradigm of ‘Intersectionality’ is deployed as a conceptual tool and as a methodology for describing structures of privilege and or oppression.