Cultivating a Consent Culture: Teaching Rhetoric, Writing, and Sexual Violence

deadline for submissions: 
September 20, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association 2018
contact email: 

Panel Proposal for NeMLA 2018 Conference on “Global Spaces, Local Landscapes, and Imagined Words"

April 12-15, 2018 in Pittsburgh, PA 




“Cultivating a Consent Culture: Teaching Rhetoric, Writing, and Sexual Violence"



From Steubenville to Stanford, rape in the public sphere is often framed as a rare occurrence, an epidemic on college campuses, or a natural phenomenon following “boys will be boys” rhetoric. Full of victim-blaming rhetoric, popular culture often exacerbates rather than interrogates issues of consent. How do we teach our students the differences between coercion, seduction, and sexual assault? How best do we situate these issues in their specific historical and cultural contexts? Moreover, how do we cultivate a culture of consent, especially in such a politically charged climate in the age of the alt-right and alternative facts? There’s no doubt a sense of urgency is felt in the college classroom today, but this urgency is not new; it has just changed shape. This panel is open to abstracts of 300-500 words that address the previous questions, as well as issues pertaining to teaching rhetoric, writing, and sexual violence, such as the following: 

Best Practices for Teaching Consent

Rape Culture & Politics

Consent and Agency Revisited

Negotiating Consent 

Histories of Race and Rape Culture 

LGBTQ Communities & Rape Culture

Consent & the Media

Rape Culture & Literature

Feminist Documentaries on Sexual Assault

Toxic Masculinity

“Yes means Yes” or Affirmative Consent

Sexual Violence on College Campuses


Please submit your abstract by no later than September 20, 2017 at *Note: Upon being accepted into this panel, all presenters must become members of the Northeast Modern Language Association.