Call for Papers: Critical Perspectives on “Modern Slavery”: Law, Policy and Society

Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull – Wednesday 30th October 2019

Key Note Speakers: Professor Jean Allain, University of Hull and Monash University and Professor Julia O’Connell Davidson, University of Bristol

Organised in partnership between the Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull and the University of Warwick

We invite proposals for papers at a workshop on ‘Critical Perspectives on “Modern Slavery”: Law, Policy and Society’. This one-day interdisciplinary conference aims to explore the issue of “modern slavery” through providing a platform to critique related legal, ideological, political and policy responses. As a term “modern slavery” serves as a powerful tool that invokes an extensive appeal to altruistic feeling, while simultaneously providing an expansive umbrella-like term for a range of exploitative practices.  The issues of human trafficking and “modern slavery” has become one of great contemporary importance and in the past decades there has been a flurry of legal and policy responses to the issue on international and national level. Simultaneously, there has been vast amounts of scholarship on the topic, much of it critical of those responses, fiercely contesting the use of the term ‘slavery’ in this context.

We particularly seek papers that question and theorise the use of the term “modern slavery”, and related legal and policy responses, from any perspective or discipline. The presentations may take the format of individual papers, multi-paper panels, or posters. The poster session is open to all but we particularly want to encourage PhD candidates at early stages of their research to submit an abstract for poster presentation.

Themes of the conference include but are not limited to:

  • International, national and regional legal and policy responses to “modern slavery” and/or human trafficking
  • The evidential base behind human trafficking and/or “modern slavery”, and methodological considerations
  • Theoretical perspectives on labour, race, and gender in this context
  • Post-colonial critiques of legislation, policy and rhetoric
  • The rhetoric of “modern slavery” and the politics of rescue
  • Contemporary abolition: philanthropy, politics and law
  • Private businesses and redemptive capitalism in the context of trafficking and anti-trafficking
  • Lessons from the past and historical perspectives on the key themes

We welcome abstracts for paper, panel and poster presentations. Abstracts of proposed papers (300 words MAX) should be sent with a short bio via email to both of the organising committee: Dr Elizabeth A. Faulkner, Contemporary Slavery Lecturer, Wilberforce Institute, University of Hull and Dr Laura Lammasniemi, Assistant Professor, Law School, University of Warwick Deadline for abstract: Thursday 31 January 2019.

For any enquiries, please contact the organisers. Bursaries might be available for PG students and those who are unable to raise funds.