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Upcoming CJRC Seminar Featuring Dr Larissa Sandy & Dr Anastasia Powell from RMIT

            Sandy1   POWELLanastasia1   RMIT University

Please join us for the next seminar hosted by the CJRC with speakers

Dr Larissa Sandy & Dr Anastasia Powell

Topic –  Narrative constructions of women as victims in news and social media: Case studies from trafficking in Cambodia and sexual violence in Victoria (Australia)

  • Date: Thursday 19th May 2016
  • When: 3:30-5pm, afternoon tea provided
    Venue: C412, Level 4, C Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St, Brisbane
  • Register: by Monday 16th May 2016 to

Abstract: This seminar grapples with some of the vexed issues surrounding constructions of female victimhood in the print and social media. In the seminar, Sandy and Powell will highlight their arguments with respect to two very seemingly different criminal justice issues. The discussion will address the similarities that exist in relation to the rhetorical strategies designed to establish female innocence and construct victimhood and the frictions that exist when women’s raw, physical suffering is used a means of creating solidarity in local and global audiences.

Dr Larissa Sandy: Reading Srey Mom

In 2009 the New York Times published an account of trafficking in Cambodia written by the Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Nicholas Kristof. Starting with the title, ‘If this isn’t slavery, what is?’, the paper undertakes a narrative analysis of trafficking stories as it considers the politics of human suffering and misery in the anti-trafficking movement. The paper explores the construction of the victim subject or suffering female body, use of rhetoric and melodrama, analyzing this as a form of emotional coercion that ultimately forces audiences to uncritically accept the logic of trafficking and allowing the anti-trafficking movement to side step some of the philosophical and definitional issues surrounding trafficking and promotion of anti-sex work agendas.

Dr Anastasia Powell: Following #Jill Meagher

In the early morning of Saturday 22 September 2012 a Melbourne woman, Gillian ‘Jill’ Meagher, was reported missing after spending an evening out with work colleagues in suburban Brunswick (Melbourne, Victoria). Thousands of Australians followed the crime event as it unfolded via the mainstream news and online. On Sunday 23rd September, a Facebook group ‘Help Us Find Jill Meagher’ was created, accumulating 90,000 followers in just four days, while the keywords ‘jill’, ‘meagher’, ‘brunswick’ and ‘vanished’ were all reported as trending on Twitter across Australia. This paper focuses on the press and social media narrative constructions of this crime: from Jill’s initial disappearance, to the identification of her alleged killer and discovery of her body, through to the street march held in her memory on Sunday 30th September 2012. In doing so, the paper reflects on the changing nature of citizen engagement with crime and justice enabled in the digital age.

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