Call For Blog Posts: Sexual Violence In Higher Education

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We invite guest blog posts on the topic of sexual violence in higher education to be featured as a series of posts in spring 2017.  The series will begin in March and will run through June (or later).   We can look no further than the fact than nearly 300 US colleges and universities are currently under federal investigation for mishandling reported rapes and sexual assaults to know that victims of sexual violence are being failed in higher education and that this crisis is poorly understood.  The emphasis on bare minimum legal compliance to Title IX policies has distracted from understanding rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment as expressions of power, often manifesting from systems of oppression (namely sexism, but also racism, xenophobia, classism, fatphobia, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, and ageism).  Academics stand to offer a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the crisis of sexual violence in higher education, and hopefully to propose solutions that are appropriate.

We specifically call for guest blog posts that address the following regarding rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and/or intimate partner violence:

  • Advice for what students, staff, faculty, and administrators can do to support victims of sexual violence, eliminate rape culture, and prevent sexual violence.  In particular, how university communities may work together on these issues (e.g., staff and faculty, faculty and administration).
  • Reflections on Title IX and staff and faculty (mandated) responsibility for reporting sexual violence.
  • New models for sexual violence prevention education (e.g., consent, healthy relationships) and prosecuting/punishing perpetrators, and/or critiques of existing models.
  • Institutional practices and arrangements that facilitate or even reward sexual violence (e.g., lenient regulation of Greek Life, alcohol use, minimal or no punishment for sexual violence).
  • Rape culture on campus and how it affects everyone, not just those who are victimized.
  • Sexual violence as a manifestation of systems of oppression other than sexism, and sexual violence at the intersections among systems of oppression.  Also, sexual violence perpetrated against LGBTQ people, (cis and trans) women of color, (cis and trans) men, people with disabilities, and fat and plus-size people.  And, sexual violence as a means of policing nonconformity among marginalized groups.
  • Sexual violence as a manifestation of hierarchies in academia (e.g., student-professor, student-staff, junior professor-senior professor), as well as “contrapower harassment” (i.e., lower-ranking perpetrators and higher-ranking victims).
  • Attention to sexual violence that occurs among/that is perpetrated against staff and faculty.  Also, threatened or actual sexual violence perpetrated by students against staff and faculty or by staff/faculty against students.
  • Effectively teaching about sexual violence, and navigating the controversial subject of warnings for potentially triggering content (“trigger warnings”).  In particular, how faculty survivors can teach on a subject that is very personal and possibly triggering for them.
  • Advice for doing critical research on sexual violence.
  • Professional and personal backlash against anti-sexual violence activists.
  • Addressing sexual violence at academic conferences and other events, and what academic organizations can do to prevent sexual violence and support survivors.

You can see our guidelines here.  We ask that blog posts range between 750-1250 words, and are written in a manner that is accessible to a broad academic audience.  You may email pitches or full blog posts to conditionally [DOT] accepted [AT] insidehighered [DOT] com.  We will accept submissions on a rolling basis, but ask that they be submitted for consideration by February 28th, 2017.