CFP deadline extended Jan 17th: #Metoo: Oral histories of sexual violence and harassment. 2018 OHA Annual Meeting. October 10-13, 2018, Montreal, Canada

#Metoo: Oral histories of sexual violence and harassment

From #believesurvivors to #me too, narratives around harassment, abuse, and sexual violence have become increasingly prominent in the media over the last few years. This panel draws on feminist oral history practice to explore critical questions relating to oral narratives of harassment and abuse. Oral history, with its ability to capture personal experiences and intimate narratives, is well-suited to document experiences of sexual violence, harassment, and abuse. The sharing of traumatic memories can also raise a range of ethical issues for narrators and interviewers. This panel explores how interviews exploring experiences of harassment and abuse, particularly within institutions and organizations, can shed new light on contemporary efforts to achieve justice for survivors.

Please send abstracts for papers to kja45@sfu.ca by January 17th. Abstracts must be 300 words or less and accompanied by a 400-word (or less) CV. Applicants will be notified of the status of their paper by January 21st.

Potential paper topics include:

  • Sexual violence within past or present social justice movements
  • Sexual abuse or harassment in the workplace
  • Intersections between sexual violence and other forms of oppression (such as racism, classism, transphobia, ableism, and homophobia)
  • Legal and ethical issues relating to interviews about specific acts of abuse or harassment.
  • Trauma-informed approaches to interviewing.
  • Shared authority as it relates to interviews with survivors or perpetrators of violence.
  • Other ethical issues pertaining to interviewing accused perpetrators of violence and abuse.
  • Oral histories of anti-violence activist movements.

This list is not exhaustive, and we welcome all submissions that explore oral histories of gendered abuse, harassment, and violence.

CFP: The Revolution Will Be Digitized: American Studies Association panel

CFP for The Revolution Will Be Digitized? panel at the American Studies Association conference, November 8-11, 2018, Atlanta, Georgia (same location and weekend as NWSA!)

Please send a paper abstract (maximum of 500 words), and a 350-word (or less) biographical statement, to kja45@sfu.ca by January 3rd. For general information on the conference, click here 

The Revolution Will Be Digitized?: Anti-racist and feminist perspectives\ From the 1980’s onwards activists have used emergent online technologies to find community and build movements for gender and racial justice. The internet offered the possibility of connections across geographic and cultural borders. From the early days of online gaming and chat rooms in the 1980’s to the present-day use of social media hashtags like #believesurvivors, #metoo, #blacklivematter, and #oscarssowhite, the internet has been a useful tool for bringing activists together.

However, events like #gamergate also illuminated what many marginalized activists already knew – that men’s rights activists and other misogynistic, white supremacist groups were using the internet to organize online campaigns of harassment, which had real-life consequences for the individuals targeted. Additionally, activist reliance on digital technology and social media also raises the risks of government surveillance and repression.

This panel will explore a range of issues relating to the emergence of online anti-racist, feminist activism. The panel also considers anti-racist, decolonialist perspectives on the history of surveillance and digital technology.

Potential paper topics include:

• Online harassment and abuse.

• The importance of online communities for marginalized youth.

• The use of digital surveillance in the context of emotional abuse and domestic violence.

• BIPOC and white women, queer, and trans people’s involvement in online gaming, from the 1980’s to the present day.

• Digital technology projects such as FemTechNet and Fembot Collective.

• The use of social media and digital technologies in government surveillance.

• Historical forms of surveillance against Black and Indigenous peoples, and immigrants.

Forthcoming Article: ‘We Made the Change by Talking about It’

My article “We made the change by talking about it” will be published in Frontiers: a Journal of Women’s Studies Vol. 39 (2).

The issue will be published September 2018; here is the abstract in the meantime.

WE MADE THE CHANGE BY TALKING ABOUT IT: MOVEMENT NARRATIVES OF ANTIVIOLENCE ACTIVISM IN THE RADICAL ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATION CASCADIA FOREST DEFENDERS

Focusing on the Eugene, Oregon-based organization Cascadia Forest Defenders (CFD), this article examines repeated instances of sexual violence and harassment within the white-dominated environmental group between 2000 to 2005. In doing so, the author is contributing to growing research on intragroup conflicts within late 20th and early 21st-century social movements. They draw on archival research and oral history interviews with past and present group members to describe status-quo narratives used by some group members to condoned—or outright deny—the rapes and sexual harassment carried out by well-established members of the group. There is also a consideration of how these status-quo narratives likely contributed to racist and settler-colonialist attitudes within the organization. The author also examines whether the counter-narratives used by the group of mostly-white feminists were successful; both in terms of ensuring that sexual violence would no longer be tolerated within the organization, and in challenging other forms of oppression, such as racism or transphobia, within the group. The article discusses the links between white supremacy and sexual violence in the United States, suggesting that the predominately white-on-white sexual assaults that were carried out by CFD members on fellow activists should still be understood in regards to race. Furthermore, as the author suggests, the narrative frames used by mostly-white feminists within CFD to challenge sexual violence should be considered ‘white feminist’ frames because they center the needs of white, able-bodied, and cisgender women, and rely on understandings of sexual violence that overlook how sexual assault and abuse are also tools of white supremacy. Although the feminists in CFD were successful in their efforts to exclude perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse from the group, the organization continues to be white-dominated, with limited involvement from activists of color, or white physically disabled people, trans women, and assigned male at birth (AMAB) non-binary activists.