Essex Public International Law Lecture: The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Carceral Feminism meets Human Rights

The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Carceral Feminism meets Human Rights

  • Mon 7 Feb 22

    18:00 - 19:30

  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Professor Karen Engle

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Public International Law Lecture

  • Event organiser

    Essex Law School

Please join us for the latest instalment of the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series.

The Essex Public International Law Lecture Series welcomes you to to the latest instalment presented by Professor Karen Engle and chaired by Emily Jones from the School of Law at the University of Essex.

Essex Public International Law Lecture: The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Carceral Feminism meets Human Rights

Contemporary global feminist advocacy is gripped by the issue of sexual violence in conflict and the prioritization of criminal legal responses to it. But it hasn't always been this way. In this talk, based on her book The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Feminist Approaches to International Law, Karen Engle will trace the grip of sexual violence to the early 1990s, when women’s rights moved in a remarkably short time from having been marginalized in human rights to achieving mainstream recognition. Women’s human rights advocates’ success in rallying the support of international institutions, she contends, stems in no small part from their dominant focus on the criminalization of sexual violence in conflict. It is there that they have arguably achieved the most gains, but at the expense of the attention that many feminists, especially in the Global South, had brought to countering militarism, economic maldistribution, imperialism, and cultural essentialism. By showing that these feminist commitments were not merely deprioritized but undermined by efforts to address sexual violence in conflict, Engle aims to reinvigorate vital debates about feminist goals and priorities and question much of today's common sense about the causes, effects, and proper responses to sexual violence in conflict.

About the speaker:

Karen Engle is Minerva House Drysdale Regents Chair in Law and founder and co-director of the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas School of Law. She teaches courses and specialized seminars in public international law, international human rights law, and legal theory. Engle writes on the interaction between social movements and law, particularly in the fields of international human rights law, international criminal law, and Latin American law. She is author of numerous scholarly articles and of The Grip of Sexual Violence in Conflict: Feminist Interventions in International Law (Stanford University Press, 2020) as well as The Elusive Promise of Indigenous Development: Rights, Culture, Strategy (Duke University Press, 2010), which received the Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Human Rights. She is co-editor of a several anthologies, most recently Power, Participation and Private Regulatory Initiatives: Human Rights under Supply Chain Capitalism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021).
Engle has received residential fellowships from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (2016-17) and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center (2009).  She served as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Bogotá in 2010. She has taught at several universities around the world and, most recently, was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School in 2018. She earned her J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School and a B.A. with honors from Baylor University. 


About the Essex Public International Law Lecture Series

The Essex Public International Law lecture series is founded, hosted and co-chaired by Dr Meagan Wong and Dr Emily Jones based in the School of Law. This is a weekly lecture series featuring judges of international courts and tribunals, leading academics, and practitioners of international law from governmental service, international organizations, and private practice from across the globe. The series prides itself on building on two important intellectual traditions of international law: formalism and international legal practice, and international legal theory including postcolonial and feminist perspectives. 

We welcome all students, academics, practitioners and legal advisors to join us.

How to register

You can register here for the event which will be held on zoom.

For further information

Please contact Dr Meagan Wong, meagan.wong@essex.ac.uk and Dr Emily Jones, e.jones@essex.ac.uk.