Prof Joanna Bourke's Book Launch: Global conversations about a rape-free world

Cora Salkovskis's picture
October 7, 2022
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Human Rights, Public Health, Social History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, World History / Studies

On October 7th, the SHaME Project (Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters) will be celebrating the release of Principal Investigator Joanna Bourke’s new book, Disgrace: Global Reflections on Sexual Violence, published by Reaktion Books. Joanna will be joined by Jude Kelly CBE (The WOW Foundation), Marai Larasi (Imkaan and End Violence Against Women Coalition), Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh (Public Engagement, Shameless! London), and Maisha Sumah (SheWalksInValue) in a conversation between artists, activists and academics on boundary-crossing global approaches to countering sexual violence.

Disgrace is the first truly global history of sexual violence. The book explores how sexual violence varies widely across time and place, from nineteenth-century peasant women in Ireland who were abducted as a way of forcing marriage, to date-raped high-school students in twentieth-century America, and from girls and women violated by Russian soldiers in 1945 to Dalit women raped by men of higher castes today. It delves into the factors that facilitate violence – including institutions, ideologies and practices – but also gives voice to survivors and activists, drawing inspiration from their struggles. Ultimately, Joanna Bourke intends to forge a transnational feminism that will promote a more harmonious, equal and rape- and violence-free world.

Throughout the project, SHaME has sought to foster and build relationships and ideas across, not only national borders, but between disciplines and sectors. In particular, the ongoing collaboration between SHaME and the WOW Foundation (Women of the World), the Shameless! Festivals of Activism Against Sexual Violence, represent a global initiative bringing together academia, the arts, survivors, and others working and speaking on sexual violence. Speakers at this event represent a range of these groups. Founder and Director of WOW, Jude Kelly, will be chairing the discussion and reflecting on WOW’s approach to global activism through the arts. Marai Larasi has worked as a social justice advocate for over twenty-five years, focusing on ending violence against Black/ Global Majority women and girls. She will be speaking on these issues in light of the publication of Disgrace. Rhea Sookdeosingh is a public engagement specialist and led the SHaME team in the production and delivery of Shameless! London. Rhea will be reflecting on why these events are particularly special and crucial as bridges between academia and the arts. Maisha Sumah is an advocate against domestic violence and motivational who will be sharing her experience of Shameless! and how it has impacted her life and thinking.

The evening will feature a reading from the book, followed by a discussion reflecting on these collaborations and interplay between arts and academia; personal meaning and global change, and how the Shameless! Festivals are part of a broader initiative about a global issue with a lot of work still to be done.

This will be followed by a Q&A and reception. Disgrace will be available for purchase and signing at the event.

Registration details

Age Guidance: 18 yrs +
FREE – but please register in advance
To register, please click the relevant ticket link below:

In-Person Tickets

Remote Livestream Tickets

Please also see our safeguarding statement for the event here: SHaME Safeguarding Global Conversations

7 October 2022
6.15-8:00PM BST
Followed by a Reception and Book Signing

*This event is taking place in person and being livestreamed online.
*Please note: this event will be recorded (speakers only).


Contact Info: 

For further information contact Cora Salkovskis, Public Engagement and Events Coordinator.

Contact Email: