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The Australian National University

Cultures of sexual assault: a symposium 2-4 August 2018

While questions of sexual harassment, assault and violation have a long and widespread history, in 2017 they exploded with new energy. Under the sign of the Twitter hashtag #MeToo, narratives of sexually-based injury began to captivate the U.S. media landscape. The hashtag quickly spread well beyond national and linguistic borders, becoming known in some digital quarters as “the hashtag heard round the world.” This symposium takes #MeToo as a launching point to investigate multiple, and potentially competing, conventions of truth-telling around sexual assault in different parts of the world. We examine how narratives of sexual assault in historically specific and geographically diverse contexts – especially those from Australia, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa – may remediate, challenge, or offer fundamental alternatives to this paradigm of public sphere disclosure.

This symposium will run over two and a half days. It will involve a range of opportunities for participation, including a Masterclass, keynote lectures, a symposium focused on the discussion and development of pre-circulated papers, time for talking with colleagues and ideally some writing time.

We seek Expressions of Interest from ANU postgraduate students whose work will contribute to the above theme. Spaces are limited; we will also be hosting postgraduates from Gender Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and University of South Africa. Applicants whose proposals are accepted will be asked to write and upload a paper of 5000-7000 words to a dropbox two weeks prior to symposium (approx. 18 July). These papers will form the basis for a development workshop with faculty mentors. Linked to this, there will be a Masterclass and keynote lecture. Successful applicants may have some responsibilities in the symposium such as taking notes that would be shared after the event. If you are interested in participating, please send an EOI with a 300 word abstract and a brief CV, including your PhD topic, to Rosanne Kennedy and Shameem Black by 20 April 2018.

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Date posted

Tuesday, 3 April 2018