Historicising anti-slavery – Decolonising anti-trafficking?

Tuesday, 30 May 2pm-4pm

Durham University Geography Department, Room 414 Prof. Kamala Kempadoo, York University Prof. David Lambert, University of Warwick


With responses from: Sydney Calkin, Geography; Richard Huzzey, History; Divya Tolia-Kelly, Geography


Over the last two decades, anti-trafficking – often described as an effort to combat ‘modern day slavery’ – has become ubiquitous. Questions have been raised about whether the significant resources dedicated to this issue have achieved any results, or whether these results have done more harm than good. These critiques remain salient as Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals proposes to ‘eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking.’ Building on these critiques, the seminar responds to facile framings of contemporary ‘abolitionism’ as echoing earlier crusades against Trans-Atlantic slavery. Critical reflections on the geographical and historical dimensions of anti-slavery and anti-trafficking will be offered. We ask: is it possible to decolonise anti-trafficking?


Sponsored by Durham University’s International Office and the Geography Department’s Culture-Economy-Life research cluster


Please RSVP to: siobhan.mcgrath@durham.ac.uk


By Prof. Kamala Kempadoo: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23322705.2015.1006120

By Prof. David Lambert: https://ejournals.unm.edu/index.php/historicalgeography/article/viewFile/2852/2330