Gender Violence in Classroom Curriculum: The Humanities and their Social Relevance

By Luzmila Camacho Platero and Yana Hashamova.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Why are the humanities perceived to have lost their relevance? Why do academic administrations tend to cut humanities programs during periods of financial crisis? How can the humanities define their role in the debate against gender violence, racism, and slavery, for example, in the 21st century? This presentation offers two case studies of the changes that the humanities are undertaking to insert their relevance. Two similar classroom discussions on the theme of gender violence in the context of literature and film at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, and Ohio State University, Columbus, motivated symposia and conferences and, in turn, created action-oriented young students who succeeded in securing grants and working for NGOs, serving victims of gender violence. On the one hand, social scientists often argue that narratives and images do not reveal public attitudes nor do they have impact. On the other, scholars, like Fredric Jameson, contend that often films assuage viewers’ desires and fulfill their needs by tapping into the “political unconscious.” By presenting the two case studies and employing theory on the way literature and film reflect and produce political meaning and ideology, we will assert our view that critical analysis of narrative and film on gender violence can create action-oriented citizens and contribute to policy literature.

Keywords: Gender Violence in the Curriculum, Spanish Golden Age Literature and Culture, Slavic Culture, Literature, Film and Social Activism, Interdisciplinarity

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 12, pp.53-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 778.444KB).

Dr. Luzmila Camacho Platero

Assistant Professor of Spanish, Modern Languages Department, Saint Mary’s College, South Bend, Indiana, USA

Luzmila Camacho-Platero works mainly on Golden Age Literature but more specifically drama and theater. Her other research and teaching interests include contemporary Spanish film and minority cultures. She has published a critical study and annotated edition, La Monja Alférez de Juan Pérez de Montalbán. Estudio Crítico y Edición Anotada (2006), as well as articles on topics such as la mujer varonil(popular character of 17th century Spanish theater) and screen representations of women.

Dr. Yana Hashamova

Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Literature, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Yana Hashamova has published Pride and Panic: Russian Imagination of the West in Post-Soviet Film (2007) as well as numerous articles in the areas of Russian film, Russian and West European drama, comparative literature and the arts, critical theory and gender studies. She has also co-edited with Helena Goscilo Cinepaternity: Fathers and Sons in Soviet and Post-Soviet Film (2010). Her most recent work explores film representations of trafficking in women. She strives to establish links between political ideology, critical psychoanalysis, and cinema, while analyzing post-Soviet conditions.

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