“Unspeakable Wrongs” - a new course offered in spring semester

UNU-GEST, in collaboration with the University of Iceland, offers a course on women and violence: how it is specific to women, how each kind is distinct from the other, the stories women tell about it, and the ways in which collective identities are constructed upon those narratives. Titled ‘“Unspeakable wrongs”: Violence, Narrative, and Collective Identities’, it is a 10 credit course being taught in Spring, 2018, by Dr Giti Chandra, who is an Affiliated Scholar with UNU-GEST.

The course uses best selling novels written by women to think about different kinds of violence: slavery in America, the violence of the first world war, the invasion of Nanking in the second world war, systemic violence in feudal China, state sponsored violence in the Pinochet regime, and the violence of Partition in India. All the novels are written by women, and widely read, making it possible us to ask questions about how women narrate violence and think about their societies, and how these narratives are received by their own, as well as other, communities.

Given the ways in which our world today is steeped in different kinds of violence, and the manner in which the media surrounds us with images of brutality, the course addresses the need to interrogate these narratives, understand their history, and find the ideas and themes which will best help us to understand how violence works and why it is as effective as it is. Such an understanding will allow us also to dismantle and deconstruct its power over us, defanging the terror that it brings.

The course (GET201M) is open to both BA and MA students, and classes will be held on Mondays and Thursdays, at 3pm, in VHV107, and VHV108, respectively.