Kamala Kempadoo is Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University in Toronto.
Professor Kempadoo has been an active member of the Caribbean Studies Association for over 20 years. She has participated and continues to contribute to important conversations at the CSA annual conference through presentations and plenary sessions. Her mentorship and participation has led to the existence of a Sexualities Working Group within CSA, a testimony to her years of work in this field. Kamala is a dedicated teacher and community builder. A generous mentor, she has supported and shaped the careers of many Caribbean researchers across the region and diaspora.
Professor Kempadoo is an exceptional and committed Caribbean scholar with an international and renowned reputation spanning nearly three decades of research, writing and teaching on issues of gender, sex and sexuality and sex work in the English, Spanish, French and Dutch speaking Caribbean. Her groundbreaking research has been critical for the fields of sociology, race and ethnic studies, transnational feminisms, gender and sexuality studies, and postcolonial studies; and her work continues to be cited and engaged broadly across multiple disciplines and locations. She is one of the most important scholars and influential thinkers on the global sex trade, sex work, human trafficking, and sexual-economic relations.
Professor Kempadoo’s pioneering and innovative work includes: the monograph, Sexing the Caribbean: Gender, Race and Sexual Labor, and the edited books Global Sex Workers: Rights, Resistance and Redefinition; Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean; and Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered: New Perspectives on Migration, Sex Work, and Human Rights.
Her research has been published in dozens of academic journals as well as in reports for UNIFEM, CARICOM, UNAIDS, and UNESCO, among others. She has offered insightful and necessary interventions through her research, keynote presentations, reports, and public writing, which has had long-lasting impact on scholars, students, and activists.
Dr. Kempadoo’s research has been recognized globally. She has been the recipient of multiple grants, international fellowships and awards over her professional career. In 2017, she was awarded the Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.