Matilda Neyland & Shannon Couper

Matilda Neyland & Shannon Couper



Presentation 1: Foreign, illegal prostitutes’: migrant sex work and the media
Matilda Neyland

In 2003, New Zealand decriminalised sex work, a hard-fought win for a stigmatised group. However, people on temporary visas can still be deported for selling sex. This presentation considers how the media constructs migrant sex workers in ways that contribute to this discrimination. Using a corpus of news articles under a critical discourse framework, I offer quantitative and qualitative insights into this question, highlighting the way the law is used to perpetuate anti-migrant and whorephobic Discourses in supposedly progressive New Zealand.

Presentation 2: Building the body as a site of pleasure: Contributions from embodied sociolinguistics
Shannon Couper

Talking about women's erotic pleasure is politically powerful because it directly challenges patriarchal hostility toward female sexual agency. This presentation explores the ways in which sexual pleasure dynamically unfolds in the discursive construction of the body. Using a lens of embodied sociolinguistics, I show how experiences of sexual pleasure are negotiated in talk between female friends, and how individuals learn, teach and come to know each other’s bodies. This leads to a critical mapping of bodies as construction sites across time and space, building an extension into contemporary theorizing about bodies and language.