Changing Rape Culture through Literature

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Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
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45th Annual Convention
Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - April 3-6, 2014

Changing Rape Culture through Literature

An environment that promotes sexual violence against a specific group is an example of Rape Culture. This culture uses misogynistic language, objectifies women's bodies, and glamorizes sexual violence. Rape culture negatively affects women as well as men. Especially in women and girls, it creates a cycle of fear; it also communicates a myth that all men want to commit violence against women. This culture thrives on college campuses, and the rate of rape holds steady at one in four women students. This roundtable discussion will address rape culture's unquestioned acceptance and how literature classrooms can combat this lack of awareness.

Proposals may attempt to answer the following questions (but are not limited to these prompts):
• What texts are the most effective at defining and illustrating rape culture?
• What service-learning or campus awareness projects might students do to educate the university community?
• In the nineteenth century, literature effected massive cultural change. Does literature still hold this power?
• How can literature address and change the tendency to blame the victim?
• How do literature professors orchestrate the classroom to avoid alienating male students in the discussion?
• How can we confront the heteronormativity of rape culture and address sexual assault against LGBT students?
• How can we negotiate such sensitive curriculum and avoid reprimand by the administration?
• How do we inspire our students to remain passionate about changing rape culture even after they have graduated?

Abstract Deadline: September 30, 2013

Please send your 300-word abstract to and include the following information:
* Name and Affiliation
* Email address
* A/V requirements ($10 handling fee with registration per person; two person per panel minimum for Media Projector)