Critical and Empirical Approaches to Human Trafficking


The Hall Center for the Humanities is one of eleven designated research centers on the University of Kansas campus. The Center exists to stimulate and support interdisciplinary research in the humanities, arts and social sciences. It supports scholarly development through a variety of fellowships and grants, workshops, seminars, and colloquia for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates at KU. This includes the Gender Seminar, which hosts KU graduate students, faculty, and visiting speakers in ongoing discussions about gender as a basic concept in humanistic scholarship and as a fundamental organizing principle in social life. Directed by conference organizers Brian Donovan and Akiko Takeyama, the Gender Seminar is proud to help sponsor Beyond Discourse as a space for KU researchers to continue conversations about this important field of gender scholarship.

The Institute for Policy & Social Research is a faculty-driven research center supporting social scientists who focus on social problems and policy-relevant questions at the University of Kansas. IPSR fosters independent researchers and collaborative teams within our network of faculty affiliates and six interdisciplinary research centers. As the institutional home for ASHTI, the Center for Migration Research, and the Qualitative Methods Working group, IPSR provides the administrative support and home for the Beyond Discourse conference.

The Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies is the center of thought and action on critical issues of gender and sexuality on the KU campus. We believe one of the strengths of WGSS as a field is its merging of academic analysis and activism, as the two inform one another. This commitment is rooted in the Department’s formation in February 1972, when thirty students, faculty, and community members who, occupied a campus building and issued demands for changes in KU policies affecting the lives of women on campus. Remembered as the February Sisters, their actions prompted the establishment of KU’s women’s studies program and is honored in an annual event addressing the intersection of feminist scholarship and social action. The WGSS Department is excited to collaborate on Beyond Discourse and sponsor Kamala Kempadoo’s keynote address in honor of the February Sisters.

The Department of Political Science faculty and students seek to enhance public understanding of what successful and just governance requires in a world of diverse interests and complex challenges. Democracies require a well-educated citizenry. Not all citizens need be social scientists, but neither should they be completely ignorant of what political scientists and philosophers have to say about the way governments organize their affairs. Accordingly, we train our students to become knowledgeable in many different areas, including the ways that government institutions work, how clashes of interests can be resolved peacefully, the ways that different social backgrounds affect shape political interests and participation, and how nations and organizations interact in the international system. We are proud to support the interests of our faculty and students for the Beyond Discourse Conference with funds from the Clifford P. Ketzel Fund.

The conference is also generously supported by:

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
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