Sexual Violence Autumn School

From September 11-14, SHaME is hosting an in-person Autumn school for researchers of sexual violence. Applications are open until July 31st.

Birkbeck, University of London

Are you a researcher of sexual violence looking to build your cross-disciplinary knowledge, topical understandings, and network?

The Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters Project explores the links between sexual violence, medicine, and psychiatry.

Our Autumn School is a unique opportunity for scholars to focus on how we understand sexual violence, from the historical to the present day, through a range of disciplinary perspectives from outstanding scholars and facilitators.

  • How should we understand sexual violence in the past, in contemporary policy debates, and in terms of our visions for the future?
  • How have medical doctors and psychiatric teams affected the way sexual violence is perceived, ‘diagnosed,’ assessed or treated in the community, in clinics and hospitals or in the criminal justice system?
  • How can we unsettle the dominant approaches and methods of researching sexual violence?

Event Details:

Date: 11-14 September 2023

Location: Birkbeck, University of London

Cost: Accommodation & travel not included. Limited bursaries may become available.

  • £300: Postgraduate taught students, postgraduate researchers, & staff on casualised contracts (including zero hours contracts, variable hours contracts, fixed-term contracts, and other forms of insecure work)
  • £500: Staff with permanent positions

Audience: The school is open to scholars at any level and from any discipline, but may have particular relevance to post-graduate students (including MAs and PhDs) and early career scholars.

Event Programming: 

Attendees will hear guest lectures from renowned experts:

  • Research findings from scholars within the SHaME team and our associates
  • A range of theoretical understandings of sexual violence
  • Different disciplinary perspectives from within the humanities and social sciences
  • Practitioners working in sexual violence, medicine, and psychiatry services

Confirmed lecturers and topics include:

• Joanna Bourke – Depraved Women & Diligent Psychiatrists • Adeline Moussion Esteve – Psychotrauma & Feminism • April Petillo – Embodied Methods & Decolonial Listening • Tanaka Mhishi and George Severs – Gender, Male Victim-Survivors, & Medicine • Kate Davison – Queerness & Sexual Harm in Psychiatry • Patsie Frawley – Disability & Sexual Harm • Rabiya Majeed-Ariss, Annabel Sowemimo, & Nadia Ahmed – Practitioner Roundtable •

Attendees will take part in bespoke interactive workshops on:

  • Methodological and ethical issues in researching sexual violence and other sensitive topics
  • How to engage with public audiences about our research
  • How activist scholarship can work and its role in influencing policy and practice in medicine and psychiatry
  • The emotional work of researching difficult topics and how we look after ourselves

Confirmed facilitators and topics include:

• Rhian Keyse & Cora Salkovskis – Ethics & Archival Work • Sameena Mulla & Heather Hlavka – Collaborative Fieldwork Methodologies • Ruth Beecher & Jeanette Copperman – ‘Listening & Interpreting’ in Interviewing • Rhea Sookedeosingh – Public Engagement • Marybeth Hamilton – Podcasting & Storytelling on Challenging Topics • Sunnah Khan – Sexual Violence & Poetry Workshop • Allison McKibban & Erin Aniker – Creative Methods in Sexual Violence Research •

Application Details:

To apply, please submit the following documents to Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh at by 31 July 2023 with the subject line ‘Autumn School Application’. Applications should consist of:

If you have any questions about the autumn school, or the application form, please contact