CfP: Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Smuggling, Migration, Sexual Labour (Event: Birbeck 06/2015); DL: 01.10.2014

Julia Laite, Laura Lammasniemi, Jessica Pliley, Philippa Hetherington

Venue: Birkbeck, University of London
Time: 18-20 June, 2015
Proposels by: 1 October, 2014

Human trafficking, human smuggling, and illicit migration are some of the most politically volatile and pressing issues in the present day. They are also the subject of a growing amount of sociological, criminological, and historical research. This combined conference and workshop aims to bring together the growing number of scholars who are currently working on the histories of trafficking, smuggling, and illicit and sexual migration from all regions in the modern period. In particular, it aims to critically engage with the concept of sexual trafficking in the past by exploring the way in which it was entangled with labour and with migration more broadly. Papers need not be limited, therefore, to the subject of trafficking:

we encourage submissions from those working on smuggling and illicit migration as well, though we are especially interested in work from a gendered perspective.

Recognizing that this history is not only a long one with specific local contexts, but also a transnational, international, multinational, and multi-layered one, the conference is conceived of as a starting point for forming an international network of scholars who are working toward writing what must be, on some level, a collaborative project. With this in mind, part of the conference will take the form of a workshop, where delegates are given the space in which to discuss common themes and problems in their work, and potential formal collaboration. While the conference will be primarily be for historians, it also aims to provide a forum in which historians can engage interdisciplinary and publically: a roundtable plenary, which will be open to the public, policy makers, and organizations, will focus upon what history can add to present day debates about sex trafficking and related migration policy. Proposals for papers and expressions of interest in the workshop are invited from scholars at all stages of their careers.

Proposals for papers of 300-500 words should be sent to by 1 October, 2014.

Please indicate whether you would also be interested in participating in the workshop. If you only wish to be considered for a workshop place, please send a 150-200 word description of your research.

Conference Organizers:

  • Julia Laite, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Laura Lammasniemi, PhD Candidate, School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Jessica Pliley, Department of History, Texas State University
  • Philippa Hetherington, Postdoctoral Fellow, Laureate Research Program in International History, University of Sydney


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