What is the history of activism against sexual violence? What kinds of strategies have survivors employed to combat it and to counter the stigma that has too often surrounded it? What kinds of narratives of resistance and protest have historically been given priority – and what voices have been left out? Today’s guests are committed to examining those questions through their involvement with an interdisciplinary research project called SHAME – an acronym for Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters – which explores the links between sexual violence, medicine, and psychiatry.

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Relevant links:

SHaME Project website: https://shame.bbk.ac.uk/

Shameless! Festival of Activism Against Sexual Violence: https://shame.bbk.ac.uk/shameless

Videos of talks from Shameless (mentioned in the podcast): https://shame.bbk.ac.uk/blog/shameless-festival-london-the-virtual-experience/

SHaME project series with HWO:  https://www.historyworkshop.org.uk/category/features/unsilenced-institutional-sexual-violence/


Allison McKibban is a doctoral student and Senior Associate Fellow for The SHaME Project at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research interests occupy the intersection of gender, law, and decolonising studies. Her current project confronts the ways in which U.S. federal policy utilizes settler colonial discourses to (re)produce sexual violence against Indigenous women. Allison also works as the Public Engagement Officer for the AHRC-funded project ‘What is Public History Now?’. She tweets as @AllisonMckibban.

George Severs is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London where he works on the Wellcome-funded SHaME project. He is currently working on a history of male survivors of sexual violence as well as studying the impacts which the HIV/AIDS epidemic had on the working practices of medics who dealt with survivors of rape. George’s PhD was a study of HIV/AIDS activism in England which he is currently working into a book. He is the Secretary of the Oral History Society’s LGBTQ Special Interest Group and Public History Editor of Oral History. He tweets as @GeorgeSevers10.

Rhea Sookdeosingh is the Public Engagement Lead for The SHaME Project at Birkbeck, University of London. She is an experienced public engagement practitioner and has previously worked in capacity-building roles at Birkbeck and the University of Oxford. Rhea works to develop and steward partnerships that drive humanities-led research and innovation, and she has an overarching interest in showcasing the social and civic value of arts and humanities research and practice. She is also an historian with interests in the intellectual, social and cultural history of medicine. Her first monograph on the history of anorexia nervosa in nineteenth-century Britain is forthcoming with Oxford University Press. Rhea is currently the co-chair of Birkbeck’s staff diversity network REACH (Race, Ethnicity & Cultural Heritage), which works to support and amplify the voices of underrepresented ethnically diverse staff across the University.

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