Dr Laura Connelly

Department of Sociological Studies

Lecturer in Criminology

Dr Laura Connelly
Profile picture of Dr Laura Connelly
0114 222 6412
By appointment

Full contact details

Dr Laura Connelly
Department of Sociological Studies
Elmfield Building
Northumberland Road
S10 2TU

Laura joined the Department in December 2021 as a Lecturer in Criminology. Her research interests sit at the intersections of gender, race, migration, and processes of criminalisation. She often explores these issues within the context of the sex industry.

Before joining the University of Sheffield, Laura was a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Salford and was Programme Leader for three undergraduate degrees. She has also worked as a Teaching Fellow and Research Assistant at the University of Leeds, where she completed her university-funded PhD on the Governance of Sex Trafficking in England and Wales in 2016.

Laura’s work is social justice oriented. She works closely with sex worker-led and voluntary sector organisations in support of the global movement for sex workers’ rights. Laura is also Co-Chair of the Sex Work Research Hub, and sits on the steering committee for the Northern Police Monitoring Project. She is co-author of Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism (with Remi Joseph-Salisbury) which was published by Manchester University Press in November 2021

Research interests

Anti-Racist Scholar-Activism 

Laura is currently working with Remi Joseph-Salisbury on a project exploring the complexities, complicities, challenges, and possibilities associated with anti-racist scholar-activism. Whilst there is a long and rich history of anti-racist scholar-activism ‘on the ground’, few have taken the praxes of anti-racist scholar-activism itself as their substantive subject matter. Laura and Remi’s work therefore focuses on the praxes of academics who work within, and against, their institutions in pursuit of anti-racist social change.   

Migrant Sex Work Post-EU Referendum 

Laura is also collaborating with the English Collective of Prostitutes on a project exploring the impact of the EU Referendum result on EU migrant sex workers’ experiences in the UK, and the strategies migrant sex workers employ to navigate sex work post-Referendum. Their report is available here, and executive summaries are available in both English and Romanian.



  • Joseph-Salisbury R & Connelly L (2021) Anti-Racist Scholar-activism. Manchester: Manchester University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Connelly L (2021) Trafficking and Exploitation In Davies P & Rowe M (Ed.), An Introduction to Criminology (pp. 291-304). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L (2020) Disrupting the Boundaries of the Academe: Co-creating Knowledge and Sex Work ‘Academic-Activism’ In Walklate S, Fitz-Gibbon K, Maher J & McCulloch J (Ed.), The Emerald Handbook of Feminism, Criminology and Social Change (pp. 203-218). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L (2016) Debates on Prostitution: An Introduction to Feminist Politics and Their Influence upon International Policy and Practice In Jacob F (Ed.), Prostitution: A Companion of Mankind (pp. 61-76). View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L (2014) The Practice of Elite Interviewing in Politicised Policy Areas In Sage (Ed.), Sage Research Methods Cases RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L & Sanders T () Prostitution/Sex Work (pp. 1-6). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd RIS download Bibtex download


  • Connelly L & English Collective of Prostitutes (2021) EU Migrant Sex Work in the UK Post-Referendum RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L, Legane R & Joseph-Salisbury R (2020) Decriminalise the Classroom: A Community Response to Police in Greater Manchester Schools RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L (2017) The Governance of Sex Trafficking: Anti-Trafficking Policy and Practice in England and Wales RIS download Bibtex download
  • Sanders T, Connelly L & Jarvis-King L (2015) Internet-based Sex Workers: Working Conditions and Job Satisfaction RIS download Bibtex download
  • Connelly L & National Ugly Mugs (2014) Violence Against Sex Workers RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching interests

Laura’s teaching draws on her areas of research expertise, and she uses her own and others’ research to bring theory to life in the classroom. Following the critical pedagogy tradition, she believes that teaching should be engaging (for students) and engaged (in the ‘real world’). As such, she not only aims to help students cultivate more critical worldviews but also, encourages students to act on their critical thought in pursuit of radical social change.

PhD Students

Laura is particularly interested in postgraduate supervision in the areas of:

  • Sex Work
  • Modern slavery, trafficking and exploitation
  • Racism and anti-racism
  • Scholar-activism and social justice
  • Migration
  • Black (intersectional) feminism
  • Alternatives to (or the abolition of) the police.

She has supervised PhDs on:

  • Experiences of the modern slavery National Referral Mechanism 
  • Black feminist study of BME women nurses’ experiences of post-registration education 
  • British Muslim women’s identity, religion and clothing.