Throughout the 2023-2024 academic year, Brandeis will host a seminar titled “Imperiled Bodies: Slavery, Colonialism, Citizenship and The Logics of Gender-Based Violence.” The seminar aims to study the origins of gender-based violence in the Americas, Mexico, Jamaica, India, Israel/Palestine, South Korea, and Trinidad. In addition, the seminar will feature academic research about resistance to gender-based violence in different countries in different historical contexts. 

Brandeis professors Anita Hill (Heller), Harleen Singh (SAS, WGS), and ChaeRan Freeze (NEJS, WGS) led the application process for the seminar through the Sawyer Seminar grant from the Mellon Foundation. The Sawyer Seminars Program provides support for historical topics of major scholarly significance. Each session of the seminar will be hosted by a Brandeis faculty member. Throughout the nine sessions of the seminar, faculty will seek to understand how society can break down the power structure that gender-based violence thrives in. 

“Our global, interdisciplinary approach seeks to make sense of how we continue to view and experience but not really “see” the gender-based violence that pervades our lives,” Professor Singh said in the March 6 article in BrandeisNow

The seminar’s purpose is to showcase faculty research about violence in different parts of the world in order to compare, contrast, and find common themes. In the long run, the seminar aims to identify ways that institutions, cultures, and nations can detach themselves from gender-based violence. 

For the first time, the Women’s Studies Research Center and the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies are collaborating to put on the seminar. Many centers are involved in the seminar, including the Mandel Center for the Humanities, the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute and the Rose Art Museum. Additionally, for students attending, the Gender Sexuality Center and the Prevention, Advocacy and Resource Center will provide support on the content of the seminar.