Landscapes of Desire: Mapping the Brothels of 1880s Washington, DC

Author(s): Jennifer A. Porter-Lupu

Year: 2016


From 1860-1915, brothels were prominantly loaced within Washington, DC’s urban landscape. This paper focuses on brothels in 1880s Washington, examining the spatial dynamics of the main brothel neighborhood, the Hooker’s Division. I argue that experiences of Hooker’s Division brothels were shaped by the space within the city that the neighborhood occupied, and simultaneously, Washington’s sex workers contested social norms thereby changing the symbolic implications and tangible reality of the city around them. I use Tim Ingold's notion of the "taskscape" as a lens through which to explore the racial, class, and gender dynamics of the Hooker's Division. This study discusses traditionally underrepresented narratives, specifically those of women, people of color, gender non-conforming individuals, and sex workers.

Cite this Record

Landscapes of Desire: Mapping the Brothels of 1880s Washington, DC. Jennifer A. Porter-Lupu. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434956)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 260