Dr. Bonnie Zare "Narratives of Victim-Survivors: Fighting Rape Culture in India"
Women in India cope with an ongoing sense of precarity owing to the frequency of street harassment and sexual violence, impacting their freedom to travel and their sense of autonomous agency. The 2012 gang rape and fatal injury of a Dehli medical student returned the subject of rape to public discourse, leading to mass protests and, eventually, some stronger anti-rape laws; however, #metoo allegations surface weekly, and artists and activists are demanding that the trivialization of rape and verbal abuse receive attention and that active steps are taken to dismantle the cultural scaffolding undergirding the violation of women. The 2020 gang rape and injury of a 19-year-old Dalit woman in a millet field in Uttar Pradesh further underlines the extremely limited changes of gaining justice and healing when the police and government authorities collude to protect criminals owing to their caste, class, age, and social capital.
In 2014, a group of Indian graphic artists convened to create stories about women's ground realities and the microaggressions they experience. The resulting publication, "Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back", contains fourteen vignettes which reveal the constraints women experience and illuminate women's capacity for resilience and boldness. Dr. Bonnie Zare examines the forms of resistance imagined and how particular stories illuminate slow (subtle, everyday) violence. Dr. Zare will also argue what exactly is lost if we know little about the perpetrators who commit these acts against women and if we do not hear the voices of Dalit women.
Bonnie Zare is an Associate Professor in Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on discourses of identity, feminism and activism in contemporary India and in South Asian women's fiction. Her articles have appeared in Women's Studies International Forum, International Journal of Cultural Studies and the Journal of Commonwealth Literature, among others. She is the founder of the Keep Girls in School Project which has been supporting low-income girls in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh since 2008.
The Virginia Tech Center for Humanities presents a series of talks by faculty research associates who will discuss their work. This talk is free and open to the public and we invite anyone to attend. There will be a brief question and answer session with viewers following the presentation. If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact the Center for Humanities at 540.231.1981 or email firstname.lastname@example.org at least 10 business days prior to the event.