Shaw, Denise R.

Dr. Denise R. Shaw is a professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of South Carolina – Union. She received her Ph.D. in English from the University of South Carolina - Columbia.

Rape Narrative in the American South
2007 0-7734-5301-6
This study examines how sexual violence, specifically rape, is used as a trope to understand the complex and dysfunctional makeup of the South. Southern writers from William Faulkner to Dorothy Allison use rape as a means of figuring individual and collective disenfranchisement and perpetuate a vision of the South immersed in violence and melancholic nature. Sexual violence, then, is situated as a reaction to historical and cultural changes, tenuous race relations, deeply imbedded mores, social taboos, and rigid class distinctions. The study is informed by the trauma theories of Freud and Caruth, the abjection theory of Julia Kristeva, and Jessica Benjamin’s theory of mutuality.