Stacey Leigh Vanderhurst

Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Assistant Professor
Ph.D., Anthropology, Brown University
Primary office:
Blake Hall
Room 323
University of Kansas
1541 Lilac Lane
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


Dr. Vanderhurst is a cultural anthropologist specializing in gender, migration, and governance. She earned a PhD from Brown University and served as the Jerome Hall Postdoctoral Fellow with the Center for Law, Culture, and Society at Indiana University’s Michael Maurer School of Law before joining the WGSS faculty in Fall 2015.


Ph.D., Anthropology, Brown University

M.A., Anthropology, Brown University

B.A., Double major in Anthropology and International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Visiting Student, Departments of Sociology and Politics, Trinity College Dublin

Teaching Interests

  • Qualitative research methods
  • Women's migration
  • Global feminisms
  • Gender and development
  • Sex work and human trafficking


Dr. Vanderhurst's current book project examines anti-trafficking programs in Nigeria, including the national politics of women’s migration and the morality of women’s mobility more generally. It is based on years of ethnographic fieldwork inside a state-run shelter for women identified as human trafficking victims. This research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, and the American Council for Learned Societies.


Dr. Vanderhurst enjoys courtesy appointments in Global and International Studies and African and African American Studies, and she currently sits on the executive committees for KU's Center for Undergraduate Research and the Kansas African Studies Center.

Selected Publications

Vanderhurst, S. (2017). Governing with God: Religion, Resistance, and the State in Nigeria’s Counter-Trafficking Programs. Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 194-209. DOI:10.1111/plar.12215

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Dr. Janet Sharistanian

Dr. Janet Sharistanian, founding director of KU Women’s Studies, passed away on Wed., Feb. 6, 2019. More information »

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