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The Apparition of Rape and the Sisterhood of International Feminists: Malathi DeAlwis, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

While feminist discourse on sexual violence has pushed discussions of women’s sexuality to the forefront, it has simultaneously reinforced deeply conservative beliefs about women and their bodies, for example, that the most important aspect of a woman is her sexual integrity or chastity. It has also invited responses and remedies by nation-states that have had little to do with promoting women’s rights. This talk seeks to problematize the current trend within international feminism and human rights activism that relies on the emotive appeal of what Ratna Kapur (2002) has aptly termed, the ‘abject-victim-subject’ to raise the issue of sexual harm at the UN and other international fora.
Malathi de Alwis received her PhD in Socio-Cultural Anthropology from the University of Chicago and is currently affiliated with the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo and the Open University, Colombo. She has also taught at the University of Chicago, New School for Social Research, New York, the International Women's University, Hannover and the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She has written extensively on nationalism, humanitarianism, maternalism, suffering and memory. She is the co-editor of Tsunami in a Time of War: Aid, Activism and Reconstruction in Sri Lanka and Aceh (2009), Feminists Under Fire (2003) and Embodied Violence (1996).



Tuesday, March 11, 2014. 12:00 PM


Encina Hall West, Room 208


Center for South Asia




Free and open to the public.