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Beyond the RapistTitle IX and Sexual Violence on US Campuses$
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Kate Lockwood Harris

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190876920

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190876920.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 April 2021

Violence communicates differently

Violence communicates differently

Diffraction and the organization of rape

(p.49) 3 Violence communicates differently
Beyond the Rapist

Kate Lockwood Harris

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins to conceptualize sexual violence as a series of material–discursive intra-actions. It does so by drawing upon a case study at a university regarded for having some of the most effective sexual violence policies in the United States, the pseudonymous Public Research University (PRU). An analysis of the systems for reporting rape and other assaults at PRU shows that these processes rely on representationalist frameworks that have problematic raced and gendered consequences. The reporting system allows PRU to overlook lots of violence. Moreover, marginalized members of the university do a disproportionate amount of the labor to run the system. The chapter relies on the feminist new materialist concept of diffraction to show that reports to Title IX officers are not mere descriptions of sexual violence, but the outcome of material–discursive processes. The chapter advances a material turn by using violence as a focal point for theory that is neither wholly constructivist nor wholly realist.

Keywords:   diffraction, representationalism, difference, intra-action, objective referent, social construction, realism

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