Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Violence at the Intersections: Intersectional Approaches to Sexual Violence in U.S. Higher Education
by Siliman, Shadia, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2020, 336; 28151356
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is interested in how the problem of sexual violence is framed within spaces of higher education. Specifically, it focuses on this framing around specific positionality factors at Indiana University Bloomington (IUB). I posit that sexual violence functions as a tool to reinforce hierarchies of the human based on combinations of positionality factors. By failing to recognize certain experiences of sexual violence as legitimate, we allow this dehumanizing sexual violence to persist, and contribute to said dehumanization. This project relies on an intersectional frame informed by Women of Color feminisms and a ‘demonic,’ inconvenient perspective, aiming to disrupt the Western Enlightenment and neoliberal epistemologies which underly hierarchies of the human and the problem of sexual violence. I endeavor to answer the questions: How do we frame, address, and interpret the problem of sexual violence within this space of higher education, and how do they engage, challenge, or indulge neoliberal Western Enlightenment epistemologies? Moving through various settings within the space of IUB, and at some points, the larger neoliberal corporate university, I conduct various methods of analyses of events on campus, classroom policies, my experiences, and the structures of feminist academia. In so doing, this project aims to present two connected interventions. The first is to point to intersectional analyses and demonic perspectives as vital to understanding sexual violence, and to insist that the non-use or disavowal of intersectional approaches in understanding sexual violence (and perhaps, in other studies as well) is itself connected to the problem of sexual violence. The second intervention is to contend that our framings of sexual violence must labor not to be exclusionary, because the lack of recognition of a variety of experiences (for example, around certain positionality factors) of sexual violence as real can contribute back to the problem of sexual violence.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Frazier, Lessie Jo
Commitee: Foster, Laura, Fair, Freda, Powell, Ryan, Horton-Stallings, LaMonda
School: Indiana University
Department: Gender Studies
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gender studies, Black studies, Education, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: Higher Education, Intersectionality, Queer of Color Critique, Sexual Violence, Title IX, Women of Color
Publication Number: 28151356
ISBN: 9798684656828
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