BY DR. RACHEL SEIDMAN Last spring UNC Chapel Hill was gripped by the news that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights was investigating the university on charges that it created a hostile climate for sexual assault survivors, failed to properly adjudicate rape at the school and under-reported sexual misconduct on campus. The events on campus happened in a national context in which rape and sexual assault, whether in the military, on Indian reservations, or at other campuses around the country, were regularly in the news.
An interdisciplinary group of faculty and staff from UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, and UNC Greensboro decided that they wanted to focus scholarly attention on the issues being raised, provide a forum for informed and civil dialogue about the topic, and to share and create new knowledge about the historical and current approaches to rape in the hopes of providing the basis for more effective prevention and more supportive response to the crime. This fall, with support from the College of Arts and Sciences, they are presenting a series of dialogues on Rape: Myths, Realities, and Responses, to which the public is invited.
The next one is Monday, September 30th at 4:00 p.m. Michelle Robinson and Rachel Seidman from UNC Chapel Hill and Lisa Levenstein from UNC Greensboro will address the question “Is Rape Political?” Hyde Hall, The Institute for Art and the Humanities, UNC Chapel Hill. For more information, visit the website.