Affected writing: A decolonial, intersectional feminist engagement with narratives of sexual violence

Rebecca Helman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter uses key moments of the author’s personal discomfort during the process of conducting research on rape in South Africa to reflect upon the ways in which sexual violence is widely normalized in South Africa, and therefore considered “unaffecting”. The author reflects upon the ways in which colonial scientific knowledge has been central to the normalization of violence against African womxn in particular. In an attempt to write against these kinds of dehumanizing research practices, Helman presents an approach that she calls affected writing, informed by a decolonial, intersectional feminist framework. By engaging with the ways in which she is affected by conducting research on rape, and specifically how this research has produced a deep sense of discomfort, she proposes an alternative way of “knowing about” rape. This alternative way of knowing involves paying close attention to the intersecting inequalities that constitute both experiences of and research on sexual violence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPluriversal Conversations on Transnational Feminisms
Subtitle of host publicationAnd Words Collide from a Place
EditorsNina Lykke , Redi Koobak , Petra Bakos, Swati Arora, Kharnita Mohamed
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000968941
ISBN (Print)9781032457994
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality


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