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Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and Law News, Events and Seminars

The translocation of racialised rape mythmaking from British colonies to the United Kingdom: Distilling race, Empire, and British colonialism in the ‘real rape’ myth" Event

Megan Johnson
13:00 - 14:00
7 December 2022
Online Seminar - contact us for details

Event details

A Law School lunchtime seminar by the Stefan Cross Centre for Women, Equality and the Law.

Abstract: This paper, taken in part from a chapter draft of my PhD, contextualises the historical evolution of racialised (rape) mythmaking in the United Kingdom. Its origins can be traced in tandem with different periods of Black and Asian immigration between 1918-1980. Post-war immigration gave rise to similar anxieties that Emancipation in the US triggered i.e., trepidation that the social, economic, and ‘biological’ status of whites would be devalued, fears of miscegenation, and panic that violent crime would increase. Racialised (rape) mythmaking in the UK is a manifestation of growing white panic precipitated by the shifting social order brought about by rapidly developing immigration policies which promised citizenship, property, education, employment, healthcare, political participation, and social inclusion to non-white immigrants. The purpose of this paper’s enquiry is not to simply prove the existence and operation of racialised (rape) mythmaking, but to assess its value for feminist legal scholars evaluating the nexus of race and rape within the England and Wales jurisdiction.

Speaker bio: Megan Johnson is a PhD Candidate at the University of Bristol. Her doctoral research is funded by a GTA scholarship. Megan’s PhD thesis is constructing the role of race, British Empire, immigration, and colonialism in the formation and application of English rape law, as well as criminal justice responses to rape such as policing strategies and CPS decision-making practices. She has written on other related subject matters pertaining to gendered-based violence i.e., sexual violence in conflict, pornography regulation, and domestic abuse. Beyond her research, Megan has been teaching Criminal Law at the University of Bristol since 2019, and Criminal Evidence at the University of Southampton since 2021.

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