Part of the Department of History's 2014-2015 lecture series, This Just In: History and the Headlines.

This is a free event and is open to the general public. Reserve your spot using the form below.


Over the past few decades the ugly spectre of public sexual violence has become the daily staple of news featuring  the Indian subcontinent. Following the horrific beating and  sexual assault  of a 23 year old medical student in New Delhi in the winter of 2012,  numerous reports of similar incidents in other parts of India, involving women of all ages and backgrounds,  including female tourists ,  birthed  the notion of a   'rape culture' as endemic to contemporary India. Most recently , global outcry following the sexual assault of a student of Kolkata's reputed Jadavpur University added a fresh charge to debates on rape  and the persistent failure of the Indian state to protect women.  In this lecture, Dr Bidisha Ray explores the anatomy of India's 'rape culture' and considers the social , historical and legal contexts within which sexual violence functions so routinely in everyday Indian life. Dr Ray will also look at changing ideas of  modernity, gender roles and public engagement  in India as forces that push against but also engender new forms of inequalities. 


Born and raised in Calcutta, Bidisha Ray holds degrees from the universities of Delhi, Jadvapur, York, and Machester. She has spent time teaching History and Politics as well as working with the British Cabinet Office in London. She is currently working on a book-length study entitled Contesting Respectability: Sexuality, Corporeality and Popular Culture in Colonial Bengal.

Event Registration - Closed

Thu, 29 Jan 2015 5:30 PM

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