Trafficking in Gender: Feminist Dialogues on Embodiment

2015 Southeastern Women's Studies Association Conference

The 39th Southeastern Women’s Studies Association Conference features a variety of educational panels, round tables, workshops and plenary speakers, including Carrie Baker and Katariina Rosenblatt. The three-day conference, hosted by the Center for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) at Florida Atlantic University, will be held at the Wyndham Hotel in Boca Ratonfrom March 26-28, 2015.


This promises to be an especially intellectually stimulating conference with this year’s theme, “Trafficking in Gender: Feminist Dialogues on Embodiment,” inspired by the WGSS Center’s initiative to raise awareness about sex trafficking, particularly in South Florida. With more than 100 scholars expected to participate from a variety of academic institutions in the United States, presentations by SEWSA members will engender productive and lively debates on all aspects of gender and embodiment as well as address feminism in relation to the themes of (im)mobility, trafficking, and movement. 

A Combating Human Trafficking Workshop will be held from 2:15pm-3:30pm on Thursday, March 26th, with representatives from the Human Trafficking Coalition of the Palm Beaches.The speakers will discuss definitions, statutes and laws related to human trafficking, and community responses to trafficking in South Florida. The keynote speech by Carrie N. Baker will take place on Thursday, March 26th at 6pm. Vice Provost Diane Alperin of Florida Atlantic University will open the event with welcoming remarks. Dr. Baker is an Associate Professor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College and has published The Women’s Movement Against Sexual Harassment (Cambridge UP, 2004). Dr. Baker's primary areas of research are women's legal history, gender and public policy, and her current research is on sex trafficking.  Both events, held at the Wyndham Hotel, are free and open to the public.


Non-presenters and/or community members interested attending the rest of the conference events will need to pre-register as community partners for the conference by accessing the registration portal here: ( To qualify for the discounted registration fee, please register as a community partner by February 1, 2015. Additional highlights of the conference include a plenary speech by Dr. Katariina Rosenblatt as well as a film screening of Just Gender followed by a Q&A with the director, George Zuber.


The plenary speech by Katariina Rosenblatt will take place at 9:00am on Saturday, March 28th. Dr. Rosenblatt, has a PhD in conflict analysis and resolution and works closely with law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and Homeland Security, to eliminate human slavery. Her own experience as a survivor inspired her to create There Is Hope for Me (, a nonprofit organization dedicated to freeing other victims of human trafficking. The film screening of Just Gender and Q&A with Director George Zuber will take place during the Saturday, March 28th luncheon from 12:00pm-1:30pm. Just Gender ( explores the common myths and misunderstandings about transgendered people and touches on the discrimination, hardships and brutality resulting from misconceptions and prejudices, including the numerous deaths caused by hate each year. Both events, held at the Wyndham Hotel, are only open to conference registrants.


Founded in 1976, SEWSA is a feminist organization that actively supports and promotes all aspects of women’s studies at every level of involvement. The organization is committed to scholarship and activism eliminating oppression and discrimination on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, physical ability, and class. SEWSA has held a national conference annually every March at various sites across the country. See the SEWSA website ( for more information about the organization. Please direct all inquiries about the 2015 SEWSA conference to