Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presented at First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 29-31, 2009.
Copyright © 2009 Keisha L. Hoerrner & Ruth Goldfine


One of the contributing causes of trafficking is its seeming invisibility, especially in the United States. Traditional-age college students arrive on campus having been taught a pervasive cultural myth throughout their years of education. That myth is that slavery was abolished in the United States in the 1800s. It is no longer a social issue demanding concern or attention. It can't happen here -- for a myriad of issues. Yet, conservative estimates point to at least 200,000 individuals being enslaved in the United States at any moment in time. Part of the role of the academy is to make these "invisible" problems visible, to spark critical thinking regarding complex social issues, and to engage the next generation of leaders in the exploration of both causes and possible solutions.

Our work with first-year college students suggests that they are not aware of modern-day slavery, yet they are quite ready to get engaged in the fight to eradicate it once they have the knowledge. We would like to discuss how to integrate the teaching of modern-day slavery into first-year seminar courses, a growing interdisciplinary curricular option on many campuses, and provide data illustrating its effectiveness at one institution.

This presentation will be both theoretical and highly practical, combining data analysis with dialogue about what worked on our own campus and what might work on other campuses. We will also provide participants with curricular materials to help them integrate modern-day slavery into their courses.

[ The "Download" document (upper right) is a PDF file generated from the PowerPoint presentation; the "Additional file" (below) is the Powerpoint slides themselves. ]

Hoerrner & Goldfine - modern day slavery - 1st year seminars.pptx (655 kB)
PowerPoint presentation (39 slides)