Harper Lecture - Dealing in Desire: Intimacy and Economic Transactions Featuring Kimberly Kay Hoang

6:00–8:00 pm
UChicago Center in Delhi


As Vietnam finds its place on the global stage, physical intimacy has become a vital form of currency in its economic relations. To write her book Dealing in Desire: Asian Ascendancy, Western Decline, and the Hidden Currencies of Global Sex Work, sociologist Kimberly Kay Hoang worked as a bartender and hostess for five years in Ho Chi Minh City. The result is an ethnographic study of the stratified sex industry, taking an in-depth and often personal look at sex workers and their clients. Examining the industry from a regional and ultimately international perspective, Hoang discussed her book and the interconnections of high finance, charitable giving to sex workers, and the intimate spheres of the informal economy.

Kimberly Kay Hoang received her Ph.D. from Berkeley Sociology in 2011 from the University of Chicago, and is now an Assistant Professor of Sociology and the College. Her book, Dealing in Desire, has been awarded six Distinguished Book Awards from the American Sociological Association, National Women Studies Association, and the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Professor Hoang is also a 2016-2017 Fulbright Global Award Scholar and Social Science Research Council Fellow.