The action film, Sound of Freedom, purports to tell the true story of Tim Ballard, founder of the anti-trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad. In this lecture, Assistant Professor Annie Hill (University of Texas-Austin) analyzes the film's construction of freedom through its narrative of reuniting a father and daughter. In this context, freedom for trafficking victims means being taken and relocated by powerful actors, like American philanthropists and celebrity humanitarians. That framing of freedom, hugely popular with US audiences, depends on oppressive relations between people and nations in order to plot not only blockbuster movies but actual anti-trafficking interventions with real human costs.
NOTE: Those interested in this lecture may also consider attending Hill's workshop, Glaring Whiteness: Trafficking Visual Rhetoric and Tropes of Blindness, which will take place in the same location from noon to 1 p.m. on the same day.
Co-sponsored by the Global Arts + Humanities Discovery Theme and the Department of English's Writing, Rhetoric and Literacy Program