Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at the University of Nebraska


Date of this Version



Presentation at First Annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Human Trafficking at UNL


Human trafficking is a crime and human rights violation that has received increasing attention over the past 10-15 years. Of the hundreds of thousands of individuals trafficked across the globe each year, the vast majority are women and children forced or coerced into commercial sexual exploitation (CSE). In my home state of North Carolina, anti-trafficking activists continue to face disbelief in our broad attempts to educate and raise awareness, as well as resistance from law enforcement in our efforts to encourage increased identification and referral of potential survivors.

My presentation will discuss examples of news coverage, survivor narratives, and filmic texts of/by/about women who have been trafficked into CSE and consider some of the following questions:
What stories and narratives are circulating about these women and children, and with what impact? What rhetorical approaches and frames are prominent? What genres and narrative strategies are absent from this discourse, and why? What are the relationships between the stories of/about/by trafficking survivors available in the public sphere and activism and policy actions and alternatives?