1st Edition

Theorizing Sexual Violence

Edited By Renée J. Heberle, Victoria Grace Copyright 2009
    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    234 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    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


    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).

    "Theorizing Sexual Violence addresses the much under-theorized arena of sexual violence studies. As the field is growing rapidly, this work makes the best use of a theoretical approach by challenging assumptions and common paradigms, pushing the all of us to think more carefully about an array of truly important issues of sexual violence."

    Marla Brettschneider, University of New Hampshire