Dr April Haynes

Dr April Haynes

Visiting Fellow

Department of Economic History

Key Expertise
History of women, gender, sexuality in the early United States 1790-1860

About me

Dr Haynes's research at LSE will focus on 'tender traffic' - the coerced movement of service workers framed as sexual protection, which presaged today’s trafficking industrial complex and contributed to the persistent international economic disparities on which it is based. From the 1790s to the present day, the workers affected by this tender traffic have persistently articulated their own visions of economic value and justice, asserting the value of their labour because it was socially necessary as well as recognizing that it was economically necessary. Whereas the male-dominated trade union movement of the nineteenth-century US claimed  the ‘productive’ labour of craftsmen created the value of commodities for exchange,  intimate labor—coerced and chosen services including the care of households, bodies, and emotions—enabled trade to flourish. Valuing labor only in terms of the production of commodities for market excluded large groups of workers—especially immigrant and formerly enslaved women, their children, and other marginalized persons—from sharing the benefits of the economic growth that their labor helped to make possible. Intimate laborers contended for higher wages, increased respect, and greater autonomy by invoking what Dr Haynes calls an intimate labor theory of value. In recent decades, intimate laborers have organized the Domestic Workers’ Alliance, Damayan, RedTraSex, and other organizations to fight exploitation and produce knowledge about their work on their own terms.

Dr Haynes's research will focus on nineteenth-century Ladies Emigration Societies, which facilitated the migration of British women to service positions in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa—often under the promise of protection from ‘survival prostitution.’  These initiatives emerged from a transatlantic network of antislavery activists, moral reformers, and penologists who exchanged ideas, data, resources, and people. Dr Haynes will explore the records and correspondence of British abolitionist, reform and rescue societies from the London Magdalen Asylum to the London Society for the Protection of Young Females. The papers of philanthropists such as Caroline Chisholm, Sophia Twining, and Sophia de Morgan can illuminate the business of Ladies’ Emigration Societies, as well as points of connection to movements for the reform of prisons, carceral transportation, and poor laws. In the process, Dr Haynes hopes to encounter the perspectives of the intimate laborers who have constituted the UK’s mobile service labor force, past and present.

Curriculum Vitae

Read Dr Haynes CV here: Dr April Haynes CV



Expertise Details

History of women; gender; sexuality in the early United States 1790-1860