Oct 25 Mon

Narrative Power and the Invisible Trauma of Gendered Violence in Kuwait: An ode to truth and declarations unheard and untold

Oct. 25, 2021
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Online via Zoom
Hasnaa Mokhtar, Ph.D.
Hasnaa Mokhtar, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers University’s Center for Women’s Global Leadership, will present a virtual lecture "Narrative Power and the Invisible Trauma of Gendered Violence in Kuwait: An ode to truth and declarations unheard and untold" on Oct. 25.

This Women's Studies Lecture featuing Hasnaa Mokhtar, Ph.D., a postdoctoral associate at Rutgers University’s Center for Women’s Global Leadership, who will present "Narrative Power and the Invisible Trauma of Gendered Violence in Kuwait: An ode to truth and declarations unheard and untold," will take place on Monday, October 25 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. 

In the past few years, the lobbying and activism of Khaleeji (Arabian Gulf) feminists and civil society organizations have sparked a public discussion of gender-based violence in the Arabian Gulf, demanding accountability for the aggressors and seeking housing, medical, legal, and mental health services for victims and survivors. Some states have passed laws criminalizing violence, and advocates continue to wrestle with lack of support for survivors. However, the narrative as to why the problem of violence occurs, especially considering the scarcity of data and research on the subject, remains trapped within selective, racist, and oversimplified analyses of blaming traditions and honor. Despite the diverse populations of the region (foreign residents and locals) in terms of gender, religion, class, ethnicity, tribal belonging, education, citizenship status, language, ability, and family origins, scholars who theorize tend to often leave this diversity unacknowledged or even erased. This lecture investigates the intersection of oppression and structural violence that perpetuates gendered violence against women in Kuwait beyond the culture narrative. It highlights how perpetrators at institutional, legal, and societal levels meshed with global and regional forces of racism, heterosexism, elitism, and classism, etc., contribute to the persistence of violence — contrary to popular superficial narratives. Using analysis of primary data collected between 2018-19 in Kuwait, the research identifies the underlying assumptions that allow single, hegemonic narratives to operate as truths and presents historical counternarratives of the structures that maintain gendered violence in Kuwait. The study draws attention to the importance of theorizing from within the region, and that scholarship and policies addressing gender-based violence require us to complicate and nuance the analysis and pay attention to people’s worldviews with the aim of diversifying knowledge and policy making and intervention.

Dr. Mokhtar, who holds a Ph.D. from Clark University, is a scholar, researcher, and activist, with expertise on the Arabian Gulf, focusing on narratives of Muslim survivors of gender-based violence. After graduating in 2015 with a master's degree in international development and social change, she developed a passion for interdisciplinary approaches to addressing violence in Muslim communities. Her work has been published in journals such as Feminist Review and Feminist Anthropology. 

The Women's Studies Lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Women’s Studies Program, Center for Global Studies, and the Cross-Cultural Center.

For Zoom invite, email cpicasmith@assumption.edu. 

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