Saturday November 25, 2023 1:00 PM Hybrid Lecture Denver Public Library Eugene Field Branch & Zoom

Another Racket on Pine Street – Archaeology of Central City Red Light District

Dr. Jade Luiz, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Metropolitan State University of Denver

Cost: 10$


Sex work in the American west held a precarious position during expansion and as urban centers sought to establish themselves as legitimate cultural and economic centers in the nation at large. The relationship of the sex district in Central City, Colorado and its residents to the neighbors was no exception. Preliminary research into the sex district in Central City and the material culture recovered during the 2023 MSU Denver field school excavation suggests a disconnect; while the brothel sites might have been viewed as opulent respites for the surrounding miners and businessmen, the often-violent resistance of Central City residents to the presence of the sex district is also evidenced in the historical and archaeological record.


Dr. Jade Luiz is assistant professor of anthropology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She received her Ph.D. from Boston University where she specialized in historical archaeology, nineteenth-century urbanism, gender, and archaeology of the senses. Her research delves into the history of nineteenth-century prostitution, with her dissertation work focusing on an archaeological collection from a North End brothel on Endicott Street. As a result of this research, she has contributed to several publications and has recently published a book on this collection with Routledge titled Archaeology of a Nineteenth-century Brothel in Boston, MA: Erotic Facades. In June 2023, Dr. Luiz began directing an archaeological field school for MSU Denver investigating the historic sex district of Central City, Colorado.

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