Alison Hanson

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Santa Cruz, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9903

Approve Date

October 25, 2019

Project Title

Hanson, Alison (California, Santa Cruz, U. of) Scripting Sexual Violence: The Politics at Poetics of Title IX at UCSC

This project examines how legal and narrative practices in Austin, Texas script sexual violence and constrict possibilities for survivors. The political discursive frame of the Me Too movement has enabled survivors to testify to their experiences of violence through social media and through formal legal avenues like crime reporting or filing grievances. The movement has made evident the ordinary nature of sexual violence and incited a public reckoning with dominant tropes in the United States. Since the hashtag #MeToo went viral in 2017, statistical data has shown an increase in reports of sexual violence. Yet qualitative data on the cultural, political, and legal shifts that are emerging in the wake of #MeToo is still uncertain. This ethnographic project inquires into whether dominant scripts of sexual violence are changing in Austin after #MeToo, and how survivors, advocates, and professionals engage those scripts to build worlds out of violence. I study testimonial practices in legal and extra-legal spheres to ask: How is sexual violence discursively produced as a legal category? How do survivors articulate pain and aspirations? And how do communicative practices of witnessing and care engage dominant scripts in the emerging world of #MeToo?