Faculty & Leadership Blog / Research and Practice

Babson Professor Elizabeth Swanson Keynotes Conference at Maynooth University in Ireland

Elizabeth Swanson

Babson professor of Arts & Humanities Elizabeth Swanson is the keynote speaker at the International Cultural Responses to Wartime Rape: Ethical Questions and Critical Challenges conference at Maynooth University in Ireland on June 19-20, 2017.

About the Conference

The role played by cultural producers in remembering and combating wartime rape has been at the forefront of the public agenda in recent years.

This conference seeks to explore this conjuncture through an analysis of international cultural responses to wartime rape and their impact. How have cultural works shaped, supplemented, intervened in, or challenged public discourses about sexual violence in conflict zones? In what way are creative works able to expose gaps, challenge biases, and illuminate ambiguities within official human rights narratives?

This conference aims to generate discussion and new insights by drawing together researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines, including: international relations; peace studies; cultural, literary, and film studies; art and art history.

Elizabeth Swanson

Professor Swanson teaches courses in African American literature and culture, international literatures, and human rights. She held the Mandell Family Term Chair (2007-2012), and was voted Professor of the Year by the graduating classes of 2007, 2008, and 2009. Dr. Swanson has received the Faculty Scholarship Award, 2012; the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, 2012; the Lewis Institute for Social Innovation Changemaker Award, 2012; the Nan Langowitz Women Who Make a Difference Award, 2007; the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2006; and the faculty Innovators Among Us award, 2004.

Author of Beyond Terror: Gender, Narrative, Human Rights (Rutgers University Press, 2007), Swanson has published articles in journals and edited collections in the areas of multicultural and international literature and pedagogies, gender studies, and human rights. She edited a special issue of the transnational journal Peace Review devoted to the subject of literature, film, and human rights (Spring 2008), and is currently co-editing a collection of essays on torture since 9/11. She is co-editor, with Alexandra Schultheis, University of North Carolina, of Theoretical Perspectives on Literature and Human Rights (Routledge 2011) and Teaching Human Rights in Literary and Cultural Studies (Modern Language Association Press, 2015).

Swanson has worked extensively on the issue of modern slavery and human trafficking, serving as Board Chair for the NGO Made By Survivors (now Her Future Coalition) and working directly with survivors of both slavery and torture. She also served as Commissioner and Chair of the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission.