Symposium "Cultures of Sexual Assault"

Symposium "Cultures of Sexual Assault"

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. The symposium evaluates the place of culture and what we mean by ‘culture’ in the context of sexual assault, analysing the different ways culture can be theorised. Participants will reflect on a range of cultural sites and practices, ranging from cultures of everyday life, organisational cultures, legal cultures, religious cultures, cultural ‘habits’, body cultures, and more.

Public Keynote: Heal the Self, Not the System: Sexual Violence in the Global Yoga Industry Associate Professor Andrea Jain Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Thursday, 2 August at 5:30pm-7:00pm Sir Roland Wilson Building Lecture Theatre 2.02

Public Keynote: Analysing the Nightmare: Reflections on Rape Culture in South Africa Professor Deirdre Byrne, University of South Africa Respondent: Professor Margaret Jolly, Convener of the ANU Gender Institute Friday, 3 August at 9:00am-10:45amSir Roland Wilson Building Seminar Room 3.03/3.04

Date & time

Thu 02 Aug 2018, 8.30am – Sat 04 Aug 2018, 5pm


Sir Roland Wilson Building, ANU


Rosanne Kennedy


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