Anthropologist Hudgins Travels to Cambodia and Thailand

Posted on 2/12/2013 9:46:29 AM

Anastasia Hudgins, Department of Anthropology, spent winter break traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and Bangkok, Thailand, to continue her research on nongovernmental organizations, state-level policies, and their effects on the commercial sex industry.

During the trip, she met with representatives of the United Nations to discuss state-level policies in Cambodia and the impact they have on the women and men who sell sex; with an international public health organization to understand how laws and policies affect the organization’s HIV-prevention and treatment efforts; and with national and international sex-worker organizations to hear what their members’ concerns are. In addition to her research, the trip was meaningful because she was there during the national observation of the liberation of the country from the genocidal Khmer Rouge by the Vietnamese. She spent the day visiting Choeung Ek (also known as the “Killing Fields”) with two friends who were personally affected by the violence—one is now a monk, and the other a tuk-tuk taxi driver.

Anastasia Hudgins and a friend in Cambodia
Anastasia Hudgins, IUP Anthropology professor, with a friend in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Hudgins will return in July and August 2013 when she and two Anthropology majors will conduct additional research. As Hudgins explains, “This trip was valuable to me (and hopefully useful for IUP) because it allows me to bring my research into the classroom, and make anthropology come alive for my students in Liberal Studies and Anthropology courses.”

Her research was supported through funding from the University Senate Research Committee Small Grants Program.