Public Keynote: Forensic Sense - Sexual Violence, Medical Professionals, and the Senses

  • Datum: 29.01.2020
  • Uhrzeit: 18:00
  • Vortragende(r): Joanna Bourke
  • Ort: Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin
  • Raum: Großer Sitzungssaal
  • Gastgeber: Forschungsbereich Geschichte der Gefühle
  • Kontakt:

Physicians, police doctors and forensic medical examiners, GPs, gynaecologists, surgeons, nurses, midwives, psychiatrists, and therapists and other medical professionals play central roles in the examination, treatment, and counselling of victims of sexual violence. They are influential social and legal agents in understanding, interpreting, and adjudication of sexual attacks. This talk explores the ways they use the senses of sight, touch, sound, and smell to arrive at a forensic understanding of the bodies and minds of rape victims and survivors from the late nineteenth century to the present. Focussing mainly on Britain and America, Joanna Bourke explores the historically and geographically variable ways medical professionals learn the practices, techniques, and technologies relevant to medico-legal labour.

Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and a Fellow of the British Academy. She is the prize-winning author of thirteen books. In 2014, she was the author of The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers (OUP) and Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-Play are Invading our Lives (Virago). An Intimate History of Killingwon the Wolfson Prize and the Fraenkel Prize. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Turkish, and Greek. She is the Principal Investigator on a five year Wellcome Trust-funded project entitled SHaME, or Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters (

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