Public Event: Writing, Researching, and Surviving Sexual Trauma: A Creative Response, 26 May 2021, Zoom

Rhea Sookdeosingh's picture

Public Event Announcement:

Writing, Researching, and Surviving Sexual Trauma: A Creative Response

26 May 2021

17.00-18.30 BST

Online via Zoom


*with apologies for cross-posting*


Dear Colleagues,


The Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters Project (SHaME) is pleased to invite you to the closing event of our Writer-in-Residence Programme with this free Public Panel and Performance Event with poet Clare Shaw, SHaME researchers Dr Ruth Beecher and Professor Joanna Bourke, and our Writer In Residence Winnie M Li


This will be the final of three public events in our Writer-in-Residence Programme, a collaboration with the survivor-centred arts organisation Clear Lines


This event is free, but you must register in advance:


In the closing event of Winnie M Li's Writer in Residence Programme at The SHaME Project, a panel of award-winning authors and researchers will discuss how writing enables individuals, academics, and society at large to address the reality of sexual trauma. They will also perform new creative work generated during the residency, which examines the dialogue between academic research and lived experience through artistic exploration. A free online resource will also be launched through SHaME partners Clear Lines, providing the public with creative writing tools to enable their own personal exploration of this topic. 


Clare Shaw’s poem ‘I Do Not Believe in Silence’ has become a rallying cry against rape culture, living with the experience of trauma, while surrounded by a society that ignores, pardons, and even encourages ongoing abuse. Winnie M Li’s novel Dark Chapter and her activism have likewise championed survivor-authored narratives of sexual violence. As Writer-in-Residence at The SHaME Project this spring, Winnie brought academics researching sexual trauma in dialogue with survivors, activists, artists, and the public — using creative writing and literature as a bridge to generate discussion. Clare and Winnie’s artistic responses to this dialogue will be performed and discussed with SHaME historians Dr Ruth Beecher and Professor Joanna Bourke (author of thirteen books including Rape: A History from 1860 to the Present), and Principle Investigator of The SHaME Project.  


The final part of the panel will involve a public launch of a free online resource developed by Clare and Winnie through the grassroots arts organisation Clear Lines. Over the past few years, Winnie and Clare have been running creative writing workshops exclusively designed for survivors of sexual abuse and violence — and more, recently, for researchers and professionals addressing sexual violence.  Demand for these workshops has always been high, so they have developed a free online toolkit which will enable individuals and organisations to engage, emote, and reflect upon this issue and your personal experiences through a set of creative writing exercises. 


Don’t miss this authentic and innovative discussion on the impact of sexual trauma, the value of writing, and the need for greater dialogue between academia and the real world experience — in order to bring about positive change. 


Like all SHaME events in this series, this evening is designed to bring survivors and activists into conversation with interdisciplinary scholarship in the field of sexual violence. Expect a wide-ranging dialogue, followed by an audience Q&A. 


We hope you’ll join us and if you have any questions, please contact SHaME's Public Engagement Coordinator, Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh at


All very best,

Rhea, on behalf of The SHaME Project

Dr Rhea Sookdeosingh
Public Engagement and Events Coordinator
Sexual Harms + Medical Encounters Research Hub
Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
26 Russell Square, Roo​m B33
London WC1B 5DQ
T: 020 7631 6588