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I am broadly interested in the ways that individual experiences of pain are translated into cultural knowledge and processes. I look specifically at the intersection of law and sexuality. For my dissertation, I am examining the process through which male sexual victimization becomes understood as a social problem in the US legal field. I analyze the ways that police officers, prosecutors, defense attorneys, survivors, juries, and the media make sense of male rape. In addition, I look at the legal statutes and maneuvers that have been deployed in previous cases of male rape. I hope to insert sexual identity into the sexual violence literature and offer a more robust theorization of the intersection of law and sexuality than what currently exists. Previous research examined moral panics about sexual trafficking. I looked at the ways that the transnational circulation of sensational narratives escalate Western anxieties about trafficking without actually resolving human rights violations.
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