Theorizing Sexual Violence: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Theorizing Sexual Violence

1st Edition

Edited by Renée J. Heberle, Victoria Grace


220 pages

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Taking sexual violence in the form of rape and hetero-psychological/physical abuse, trafficking, and harassment as a point of departure, the authors of this volume explore questions about the relationship between sex, sexuality and violence in order to better understand the terms on which women's sexual suffering is perpetuated, thereby undermining their capacity for personhood and autonomy. This volume perceives that while sexual violence as a phenomenon is heavily researched, it remains under-theorized. With anti-essentialist views of gender identity, of subjectivity and agency, and of rationality and consent, the essays study both the dynamics and consequences of sexual violence. The contributing authors blend the insights of postmodern critique with the common goal of theorizing and acting effectively against the material and psychic suffering perpetuated by the rigid rituals of gendered and sexed life.

Table of Contents

Foreword. Joanna Bourke. Introduction: Theorizing Sexual Violence: Subjectivity and Politics in Late Modernity Renée J. Heberle and Victoria Grace 1. Sexual Violence and Objectification Ann J. Cahill 2. Gendered Violence and Sacrificial Logics: Psychoanalytic Reflections Victoria Grace 3. ‘Reality Check’: Rethinking the Ethics of Vulnerability Ann V. Murphy 4. Of Shards, Subjectivities, and the Refusal to ‘Heal’: Refiguring the Damage of Incest Melanie Boyd 5. Fighting Rape Nicola Gavey 6. Rethinking the Social Contract: Masochism and Masculinist Violence Renée J. Heberle 7. Feminist Interrogations of Democracy, Sexual Violence, and the U.S. Military Meghana Nayak 8. Feminism, International Law, and the Spectacular Violence of the ‘Other’: Decolonizing the Laws of War Elizabeth Philipose

About the Editors

Renée J. Heberle is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Toledo in Ohio. She is the editor of Feminist Interpretations of Theodor Adorno and co-editor of Imagining Law: On Drucilla Cornell. Her essays have appeared in Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Signs: A Journal of Women and Culture, Studies in Law, Politics and Society, and in the Encyclopedia of Government and Politics (Routledge, 2001).

Victoria Grace is Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She has published widely in social and feminist theory, the politics of scientific knowledge, embodiment and psychosomatics. She is the author of Baudrillard's Challenge. A Feminist Reading (Routledge, 2000).

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Society

The social sciences continue to be transformed and enriched by analysis which takes gender, and the ways in which gender and society interact, to be of vital, defining importance. This series is new and broadly based, and will publish high-level contributions from across the disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Human Sexuality
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Violence in Society