Thursday, October 27, 2016, 6:00pm
Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute: San Francisco Book Launch with Local Sex Workers
$5 CHS Members and Heyday Subscribers, $10 General Admission
Join California Historical Society (CHS), Heyday, and local sex workers for an in-depth discussion on the history of sex work in the Bay Area and the contemporary issues facing sex workers today. This program serves to launch CHS and Heyday Books co-published 2015 California Historical Society Book Prize Award Winner, Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute. A book signing will occur after the discussion portion of the event.
The program will begin with presentations from the editors ofAlice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute, Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus and will be followed by presentations from Erotic Service Providers. It will then transition into a Q&A with all the presenters from 7:05-7:50PM. For this portion of the event, index cards will be distributed to guests to write down their questions. All questions must explicitly state who (of the presenters) the question is intended for. We also ask that any personal stories or opinions beyond the scope of the presentation and discussion be held for one on one time with presenters after the event.
As a special addition, we will have a collection viewing in our North Baker Research Library from 5:45PM to 6:00PM and immediately following the presentations and discussion.
About the Speakers
Ivy Anderson is a San Francisco–based writer who focuses on issues of ecology and radical history. Her reportage on water management issues was published in Water Efficiency Magazine and her poetry in Poecology. She holds a B.A. in environmental studies with a minor in geography, runs a community garden, and is on the board of a bookstore collective in San Francisco. Devon Angus is an artist, activist, and historian based in San Francisco. He composed and performed a conceptual folk operetta based on San Francisco history, The Ghosts of Barbary, throughout the Bay Area, Switzerland, and Italy. He organized and published a series of oral histories of immigrants in the Catskills region, and was the recipient of an arts grant through the New York State Council on the Arts for his show Songs and Stories of Old New York. Angus is currently pursuing a history M.A. at San Francisco State University. To read more about their work, visit their blog.
The Erotic Service Providers Union (ESPU) is by and for those who labor erotically to gain agency through industrial organizing for our occupational, social, and economic rights through affiliating with organized labor.
State laws criminalize prostitution. This results in locking out workers from our right to negotiate for our labor, and safe working conditions, by making it specifically illegal to do so. Locking out our specific class of workers has resulted in decades of institutional and systemic violence and discrimination. We ask you to stand in solidarity with all erotic laborers and support the Erotic Service Providers Union’s struggle for decriminalization. This will lead to social and economic justice for erotic laborers.
We have impact litigation in federal court right now. Erotic Service Providers, a client, and the ESP Union are plaintiffs arguing that prostitution law deprives us of our freedom of speech, freedom to associate, right to earn a living, and right to privacy that are guaranteed by the 1st and 14th amendments of the US Constitution. More information about the court case can be found at http://www.decriminalizesexwork.com
More Information on the Book
For the first time in print since 1913, Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute presents the memoirs of Alice Smith and a selection of letters responding to her story. An introduction contextualizes “A Voice from the Underworld” amid Progressive Era sensationalistic journalism and shifting ideas of gender roles, and reveals themes in Alice’s story that extend to issues facing sex workers today.To learn more.
To learn more about the California Historical Society Book Prize Award, go to our website
California Historical Society (CHS) and Heyday believe in sharing/telling a diversity of stories, some historic, others contemporary. However, we maintain that the opinions stated in this talk will be that of the speakers’ and not necessarily those of CHS or Heyday.