Skip to main content


Our upcoming symposium

Recent posts

Dr Charlotte Beyer presents paper at international conference

An opportunity recently arose for me to test out some of my ideas and findings by speaking to an audience of crime fiction researchers and scholars, and it turned out to be immensely useful.  On 26-27 May 2017, I attended the International Crime Genre Research Group’s 7th biennial conference, entitled “Networks and Connections in the Crime Genre”, at National University of Ireland, in Galway.  I only took part in the Friday programme of the conference, but as can be seen from the programme, which can be accessed here, the whole conference was rich in interesting research and ideas. Read more about the work done by the International Crime Genre Research Group here.
The “Networks and Connections” conference proved a very useful venue for meeting other academics working in the field of crime studies.  As the conference organisers stated about the aims of their research group: “Our founding ambition since our first conference in 2005 is to bring together researchers from a broad range of a…

Symposium news

We are planning to hold a Symposium to showcase the project and our findings, scheduled for September 2017.

The one-day symposium held by the PACCS (Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research) ESRC-funded project on "Representation of Transnational Human Trafficking in Present-Day news media, true crime, and fiction" will take place on September the 12th 2017. 

The symposium will showcase some of our project partners’ research results (with findings split across the genres of newstexts, crime fiction, and true crime documentaries), and welcomes feedback from a group of especially invited participants.  Amongst these we are very pleased to welcome our three invited speakers:

Crime fiction writer Ruth DugdallJournalist/writer/film-maker Paul Kenyon,Academic/writer/Free the Slaves co-founder Professor Kevin Bales
We have also invited a number of practitioners, academics and policy makers who are investigating the ways in which transnational human trafficking is portr…

Dr Charlotte Beyer's research

My part of our research project examines the representation of transnational child trafficking in crime fiction from Britain, Ireland and Denmark.  The significance of investigating the nuances of these representations, and explore their capacity for contributing to a better public understanding and awareness of child trafficking, is becoming increasingly evident. Although recent work has recognised the particular vulnerability of women and children, the specific area of child trafficking and its representation has thus far received relatively little attention from critics and scholars, or the media.
My research investigates the thematic and textual methods employed in twenty-first century crime fiction to portray transnational trafficking of children and young people. This involves a consideration of how texts incorporate existing and new information about transnational trafficking, how they represent differing kinds of trafficking, and the textual and thematic means by which they le…

Ilse Ras reflects on slavery and human trafficking

I used slavery as one of the core search terms for my data collection ( 2013 marked the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s signing of the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves, so as a result of this anniversary and the use of this search term, there is a substantial number of articles in the human trafficking corpus discussing historical slavery, rather than contemporary human trafficking.  One definitional concern, therefore, is whether historical slavery, as in the trans-Atlantic slave trade and, in particular, the exploitation of African people on American plantations, could be considered a form of human trafficking.
It certainly should be, if the principles of the Palermo Protocol are followed – historical slavery entailed the transnational movement of people, using coercion (in particular physical bondage and violence) as well as deception, for the purposes of exploit…

Dr Nina Muždeka explains what she will examine in her research

As a complex issue, transnational human trafficking invites  debate facilitated by the role of media as both a contemporary watchdog and a modern forum for showcasing diverse viewpoints. In the analysis of the transnational human trafficking coverage in the news media within the domain of narrative theory and the theoretical framework of poststructuralism, the following two aspects appear to be crucial:
(1)  The role of news media, as a forum for expressing different opinions in relation to the causes and solutions to human trafficking, in the construction of public opinion and response to the issue, as well as in the formation and implementation of policy on human trafficking, exemplified by the choices they make in reporting on the issue, and
(2)  The application of the contemporary narrative theory to the analysis of news media texts as means to construct meaning and reality, which details and explains the importance of the process of story-telling and the structural elements of the …

Dr Melissa Dearey's research

My part in this project is to conduct more intensely case-study based qualitative textual analysis of a small number of key texts in the non-fictional or ‘true crime’ genre. The main focus will be on popular documentary televisual representations of human trafficking in the UK today. The primary source I will be analysing is the narrative construction of present day human trafficking in the UK in the recent Al Jazeera produced documentary Britain’s Modern Slave Trade – Al Jazeera Investigates (2016). These narratives will be compared and contrasted to others presented in contemporary popular audio-visual representations of human trafficking in the true crime format and how these shape and influence, and are shaped and influenced by, popular epistemologies and mythologies of human trafficking. In this context, I will also be exploring the development and evolution in the ‘true crime’ genre in the context of present day representations of human trafficking.
The main themes I will focus o…