Alcoff, L M. (2014). Sexual Violations and the Question of Experience. New Literary History,45(3), 445-462. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1353/nlh.2014.0030
This paper explores the complications of naming and interpreting experiences of sexual violation that arise from the complexity of experience and the possibility of a discursive relativism. If our experiences are discursively and historically constituted, even in part, by the happenstance of the cultures we are born into, by what Foucault wonderfully called our historical a priori, how does this alter the epistemic status, and fruitfulness, of experience claims, and the epistemic authority of survivors? I argue that interpretive processes are usefully understood as occurring within a phenomenological context and as a practice of enacting affordances: in this way variability can be explained without obviating the special epistemic status of survivors.
Institute for Social Justice
Access may be restricted.