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Amber Horning is a PhD student in the Department of Criminal Justice at CUNY Graduate Center/John Jay. She won a grant competition in 2011 that enabled her to interview nearly 100 former and current pimps in Harlem. She became interested in illicit economies and specifically the commercial sex market after conducting ethnographic work on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) in Atlantic City. Her dissertation is about pimps’ constructions of masculinities through social exchanges and within urban territories. She presented her work on maps of informal economies at the Forensic Aesthetics Conference at Vera List Center for Art and Politics and maps (drawn by pimps) were featured in the exhibition Matter out of Place at the Kitchen, NYC. She will present preliminary findings on narratives at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) Conference and the American Society of Criminology (ASC) Conference. Publications about this specific project are in progress. Additionally, she is beginning a project about the LGBTQ Kiki Scene (a youth-led offshoot of the mainstream house and ballroom scene) in Harlem where she plans to explore the role of constructed family networks and other protective factors in HIV/AIDS harm reduction.

Amber Horning