Zahra Stardust is a PhD Candidate at UNSW. Her doctoral research examines the legal regulation of pornography in Australia, the emergence of alternative pornographies as a social protest and political movement, and the implications of criminalising non-normative intimacies. This follows on from her Masters research into conventions and counter-practices among erotic performers.
Over the past decade Zahra has worked in policy and research capacities on human rights projects for NGOs, community organisations, academic institutions, corporate law firms and United Nations bodies, in Australia and internationally.
During this time she worked in areas of HIV prevention, health promotion, safe migration, anti-discrimination, LGBTIQA+ rights, sexual and reproductive health, gendered violence, sexual assault, refugee status determination, homelessness, stolen wages and native title.
Zahra's most recent work is published in peer-reviewed journals Porn Studies, World Journal of AIDS and Research for Sex Work, and edited anthologies Queer Sex Work, Coming Out Like a Porn Star: Essays on Pornography, Protection and Privacy, and The DIY Porn Handbook: Documenting Our Own Sexual Revolutions (forthcoming).
She has spoken at conferences such as the International Bar Association (Tokyo), Sexual Cultures (Brunel University), Erotic Screen and Sound (Griffith University), Trans/Forming Feminisms (University of Otago) and the Feminist Porn Conference (University of Toronto), and has guest lectured or presented at the Universities of Sydney, UNSW, UTS, Curtin University and University of Queensland.