WGS 340 • PROSECUTING RAPE AND RACE
Although FBI crime statistics inform that the vast majority of rapes are intraracial, media sensationalism of rape, both real and alleged, often centers on interracial sexual assault cases. This seminar explores American memory concerning sexual violence and racial constructions. Beginning with the height of lynching and anti-lynching crusades led by Ida B. Wells in 1892, we examine key cases throughout the twentieth century that marked American consciousness concerning race relations and racial repression, and Americans' conventional understandings of human sexuality and violence against women. This graduate seminar examines representations of sexual assault in trial cases/legal text ,popular culture, journalistic discourse, and scholarship. Cases studied include: Scottsboro Boys, Jack Johnson, Mike Tyson, Harlem Six, Willie Horton, Central Park Case, William Kennedy Smith, Ben LaGuer, Jeffrey Dahmer.