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Julieta Vartabedian


Julieta Vartabedian has a degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires, holds a European Master’s Degree in Penal Systems and Social Problems from the University of Barcelona and has completed a PhD in Social Anthropology at the same University (November 2012). She was a Leverhulme Visiting Fellow in Sociology at Newcastle University (2013-14) and a postdoctoral researcher in a European Research Council funded project based at the University of Lisbon (2014-15). Julieta will collaborate with Dr Moreno Figueroa (Lecturer in Sociology, University of Cambridge) to explore and further current representations of indigenous female bodies to understand contemporary expressions of racism.

Research interests

Julieta has analysed processes of exclusion and recognition through the practices of embodiment of those people experiencing exclusion and lack of privilege: women’s imprisonment in Argentina, female sex workers in the city of Barcelona, women who have survived gender-based violence, transsexual women and travestis in Latin America and Europe. In the last years her research interrogates four main thematic areas: a) Identities and transnational migrations (through the study of non-heteronormative groups as the Brazilian travestis, she focuses on how space intersects identity formation processes); b) Beauty processes and recognition (unlike discussions on beauty as part of a structure of patriarchal oppression, beauty is considered as an embodied and empowerment experience used by some subjects as a strategy in their search of recognition); c) Sex work and nomadic bodies (sex work is examined through the lens of non-heteronormative sexualities to include the frequently invisibilised transgender sex workers within academic discussions); and d) New technologies and sex market (using a virtual ethnography, Julieta is interested in travesti/transgender sex workers’ use of digital technologies and advertisements in websites).


Vartabedian, Julieta (in preparation), Travesti Geographies. Bodies, sexualities and Brazilian travesti migrations (under contract with Palgrave Macmillan, Series ‘Gender and Sexualities’).

Vartabedian, Julieta (2016), ‘Beauty that Matters: Brazilian travesti sex workers feeling beautiful’, Sociologus: Journal for Social Anthropology 66(1), special issue on Manufacturing Beauty, Grooming Selves: The Creation of Femininities in the Global Economy, pp. 73-96.

Vartabedian, Julieta (2015), ‘Towards a carnal anthropology. Reflections of an “imperfect” anthropologist’, Qualitative Research, 15(5), pp. 568-582.

Vartabedian, Julieta (2014), ‘Sobre travestis, clientes y maridos: género y sexualidad en la construcción de las identidades de travestis brasileñas trabajadoras del sexo’ [‘Some thoughts on travestis, clients and husbands: gender and sexuality in the construction of the identities of Brazilian travesti sex workers’], Revista de Antropología Social, 23, Complutense University of Madrid, pp. 237-261.

Vartabedian, Julieta (2014), ‘Migraciones trans: travestis brasileñas migrantes trabajadoras del sexo en Europa’ [‘Trans Migration: Brazilian travesti migrant sex workers in Europe’], Cadernos Pagu, 42, Center for Gender Studies, State University of Campinas, Brazil, pp. 275-312.

  • Position: Affiliated Researcher
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  • Address: Department of Sociology, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ