The Phyllis Rackin Fellowship for Feminist Scholarship in the Humanities was created in 2008 in honor of Phyllis Rackin, a pioneering feminist scholar and former faculty member in the English Department here at Penn. The fellowship provides up to $3,000 in summer research or travel funding to doctoral student(s) in theSchool of Arts and Sciences whose research creates or promotes new scholarship on women, gender, and/or sexuality in the humanities.
The 2012 recipients are:
Zain Lakhani (History)
Zain is a sixth year PhD student in the History Department, researching the construction of “violence against women” as a domestic and global human rights concern. Specifically, her project historicizes a fundamental shift in conceptions of sexual coercion and violence from a private issue in 1945 to the subject of a major feminist movement, the purview of an international war crimes tribunal and one of the key ways in which women were understood as victims of armed or political conflict. Her project traces how and why sexual violence became a key animating principle of women’s human rights campaigns, and explores debates over the meaning of seemingly static concepts such as “coercion” and “violence.”
The Rackin Fellowship will fund Zain’s research at the UN Archives in Geneva, exploring the history of sexual violence in women’s refugee policy during the late 1980’s, early 1990’s. This research is part of a broader project that explores the history of “violence against women” as an animating concept of the US women’s rights movement, and it’s subsequent expansion into the international human rights arena.
Claudia Consolati (Italian)