Thursday • 2 July • 18:00
Yu Garden • Feldbrunnenstraße 67 • 20148 Hamburg

»Against Our Will. Men, Women, Rape« 1975–2015.
A Book and its Impact

A Conversation with Susan Brownmiller

Yuki Tanaka (Hiroshima Peace Institute)
Gaby Zipfel (Hamburg Institute for Social Research)
Moderation: Regina Mühlhäuser (Hamburg Institute for Social Research)

In 1975, at the peak of the Women’s and Student Movement and against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Susan Brownmiller’s path-breaking analysis about rape in war and peace appeared. »Against Our Will«, one of »100 most important books of the Twentieth Century« (New York Public Library), opened the door to questions that are still pressing today. Her study has inspired feminist activism and research. Today, sexual violence has gained public awareness and became a much debated subject in national and international politics.

Theaters of armed conflict in the 21st century reveal that this form of wartime violence is still ubiquitous. Despite recent public awareness, efforts to understand and strategies to prevent this form of violence remain inadequate. The presence of Susan Brownmiller in Hamburg opens up the opportunity to rediscover how this important debate emerged while also reflecting on the current state of the art.

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Admission free

This public event is kindly supported by the Gender of Justice Research Project at Goldsmiths University / European Research Council (ERC-313626), the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, and the Hamburg Foundation for the Advancement of Research and Culture.

It opens the internal SVAC conference »Against Our Will« Forty Years After: Exploring the Field of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict.

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3 April 2014 • 18:00
Birkbeck Cinema • 43 Gordon Square • London

Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts:
Film, Testimony, and the Vietnam War

Joanna Bourke in conversation with Kendrick Oliver about testimony on rape during the war in Vietnam, with reflections on sexual violence in current conflicts.

With an introduction by Kirsten Campbell.

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London. She is the author of (among other books) Rape: A History from the 1860s to the Present (London: Virago, 2007).

Kendrick Oliver is Professor of American History at the University of Southampton. He is the author of (among other books) The My Lai Massacre in American History and Memory (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006).

Kirsten Campbell, SVAC, is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Principal Investigator of the ERC funded project »The Gender of Justice«.

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The event will be followed by a drinks reception. It is sponsored by the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and opens the internal SVAC Workshop »Cultures of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict«.

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13 June 2013 • 18:00
Hamburg Institute for Social Research • Mittelweg 36 • 20148 Hamburg

Sexual Violence in the Concentration Camps:
What Popular Stories Reveal

Lecture by Pascale R. Bos, University of Texas at Austin

Introduction & Moderation: Regina Mühlhäuser and Gaby Zipfel, Hamburg Institute for Social Research

The subject of sexual violence has long been ignored in official historiography of the War of Annihilation and the Holocaust. Already during WWII, however, stories about rape and sexual enslavement of Jewish women by Nazi men began to circulate in newsprint, liturgy, and literature within the Jewish communities of North America and the Yishuv (pre-state Israel). After the war, they could be heard in Europe as well.

The lecture explores such narratives, when and where they first emerged, and how they compare to the historical record. These stories are shown to have played an important role in making sense of the Holocaust in the Jewish communities in which they circulated. Their particular social-political contexts matter as they affected reception and dissemination, and led to particular narratives becoming dominant while others remained unspeakable. Indeed, many of the stories had a profound symbolic impact as well as an actual silencing effect on Holocaust survivors in these communities. They were taken to be historically accurate, and hindered the exploration of actual experiences of sexual violence for decades.

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This public event is organized by the International Research Group "Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict", the Hamburg Institute for Social Research and the Department of Germanic Studies, University of Texas at Austin. It opens the internal SVAC Workshop »Constellations and Dynamics of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict, Part II: A Close Reading of Sources«.

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5 July 2012 • 17:00
CERI • 56 rue Jacob • 75006 Paris

Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict:
Interdisciplinary Perspectives

A Roundtable Discussion

Introduction: Elissa Mailänder, Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po
Chair & Moderation: Claire Andrieu, Centre d'histoire de Sciences Po

  • Examination of a War Crime: Hagiang (French Indochina) march 1945
    Fabrice Virgili, Directeur de recherche, UMR IRICE-CNRS
  • Framing Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict: What We (May) Fail to See
    Pascale Bos, Associate Professor, The University of Texas, Austin
  • Between Analysis and Politics
    Gabi Mischkowski, Program Advisor on Gender Justice, medica mondiale
  • The Idea of an international, interdisciplinary Research Network
    Regina Mühlhäuser, Researcher, Hamburg Institute for Social Research

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This public event is organized by the Centre d'Histoire de Sciences Po, the UMR »Identités, relations internationales et civilisations de l'Europe«, the Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violences and the Hamburg Institute for Social Research. It opens the internal SVAC Workshop »Constellations and Dynamics of Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict«.