Rana M. JaleelNov 24, 2021
The Work of Rape
Duke University Press 2021
In The Work of Rape (Duke UP, 2021), Rana M. Jaleel argues that the redefinition of sexual violence within international law as a war crime, crime against humanity, and genocide owes a disturbing and unacknowledged debt to power and knowledge achieved from racial, imperial, and settler colonial domination. Prioritizing critiques of racial capitalism from women of color, Indigenous, queer, trans, and Global South perspectives, Jaleel reorients how violence is socially defined and distributed through legal definitions of rape. From Cold War conflicts in Latin America, the 1990s ethnic wars in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, and the War on Terror to ongoing debates about sexual assault on college campuses, Jaleel considers how legal and social iterations of rape and the terms that define it—consent, force, coercion—are unstable indexes and abstractions of social difference that mediate racial and colonial positionalities. Jaleel traces how post-Cold War orders of global security and governance simultaneously transform the meaning of sexualized violence, extend US empire, and disavow legacies of enslavement, Indigenous dispossession, and racialized violence within the United States.
Work of Rape is the recipient of Duke University Press Scholars of Color First Book Award.
Rana M. Jaleel is Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at the University of California, Davis, where she is also the Faculty Advisor for the Sexuality Studies Minor.
Sohini Chatterjee is a PhD Student in Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Western University, Canada. Her work has recently appeared in South Asian Popular Culture and Fat Studies.