Earlier this month, Associate Professor Crystal Feimster, a renowned scholar from Yale University and a visiting professor for the Global Connections and Violence Focus program at Monash, gave a remarkable public lecture, ‘What if I Am a Woman?': African American Women's Campaigns for Sexual Justice and Citizenship, before a large and receptive crowd at the State Library.
Associate Professor Feimster’s lecture traced black women’s resistance to sexual violence during the transition from slavery to freedom and revealed how their claims for sexual justice shaped national debates about the meanings of freedom and citizenship.
Monash History Lecturer Dr Joshua Specht, an American History specialist, said it was an honour for Monash to host Associate Professor Feimster.
“Her talk, like her work, is unique among scholars for its appeal both to academic specialists and to general audiences,” Dr Specht said.
Associate Professor Feimster teaches at Yale University in the Department of African American Studies, the American Studies Program and the History Department. She earned her PhD in History from Princeton University and her BA in History and Women’s Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill.
She is the author of Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching and is currently completing a new manuscript, Truth Be Told: Rape and Mutiny in Civil War Louisiana.
Professor Feimster was in Melbourne as part of the Global Connections and Violence Focus program, where she is a visiting professor, but also for the Melbourne International Film Festival, where she participated in the launch of Nancy Buirski’s The Rape of Recy Taylor.
This documentary has been dubbed one of the most important films of 2018 and was famously referenced by Oprah at the Golden Globes.