EVENT May 16
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Call for Papers: Edited collection on Medicine, Psychiatry and Sexual Violence

Organization: SHaME (Birkbeck, University of London)
Categories: Postcolonial, Hispanic & Latino, Comparative, Interdisciplinary, Popular Culture, Gender & Sexuality, Women's Studies, Aesthetics, Anthropology/Sociology, Classical Studies, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History, Philosophy, African & African Diasporas, Asian & Asian Diasporas, Caribbean & Caribbean Diasporas, Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Native American, Pacific Literature, Science, Miscellaneous
Event Date: 2022-05-16 to 2022-05-16 Abstract Due: 2022-05-16

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We are seeking to commission chapters for an edited collection on the role of medical professionals in debates about sexual violence, to be submitted to Palgrave Macmillan’s peer-reviewed Sex and Sexualities Series. We have already received proposals for contributions from a range of scholars, however we are particularly interested in commissioning work from scholars working on the Global South, to ensure that the collection has breadth as well as depth of coverage. 

This interdisciplinary collection explores the role of medical professionals in debates about sexual violence. Police doctors and forensic medical examiners, GPs, gynaecologists, surgeons, nurses, midwives, prison surgeons, psychiatrists, and therapists working in all forms of institutional and community settings have been influential agents in the interpretation, medicalisation, and adjudication of sexual attacks. This is an important time to investigate the relationship between medical professionals and sexual violence. Scandals around medical and psychiatric responses to sexual abuse emerge on a regular basis (viz. Nauru detention camp; the abuse of people in psychiatric wards, prison, and detention camps; failures to send the biological samples from ‘rape kits’ for forensic examination; complaints about medical examinations; popular anxieties about the medical treatment and rehabilitation of violent offenders). 

The editors invite submissions from scholars working on the Global South, and from any humanities/arts/social science discipline (e.g. history, sociology, law, philosophy, medical humanities, anthropology, art and visual culture.). The emphasis is on any period from the late eighteenth century to the present. We welcome proposals from graduate researchers and early career scholars as well as those more established in their field. Co-written submissions are welcome.

Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  • The role of medicine and psychiatry in understanding, interpreting, facilitating, treating, prosecuting, and preventing sexual violence.  
  • Medical jurisprudence and forensic medicine in relation to sexual violence.  
  • The training of medical professionals in how to respond to people reporting sexual assault. 
  • Psychiatric classifications of perpetrators of sexual violence. 
  • The rise of psychiatric notions of rape trauma and their effects.  
  • Psychiatric or medical approaches to the sexual assault of trans or queer people. 
  • The role of medicine and psychiatry in anti-rape activism.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 350 words, as well as a brief CV and 100-word biography to the volume editors:

Adeline Moussion (amouss02@mail.bbk.ac.uk)

Emma Yapp (eyapp01@mail.bbk.ac.uk)

Rhian Keyse (r.keyse@bbk.ac.uk)

Please send all abstracts by 16 May 2022.

Please note that all accepted abstracts will still be subject to Palgrave’s peer-review process at manuscript level


Emma Yapp