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UNSUITABLE #22: From Harassment and Assault to Happily Ever After - The Long History of Sexual Abuse in Romantic Fiction

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Monday, April 23, 2018
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12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
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Erin Gloria Ryan, Charlotte Sussman, and Adriane Lentz-Smith
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When a girl protests that a boy is harassing her, how often does she hear from others, "He just likes you!"? The Western tradition of romantic fiction has long reinforced this scenario, from the birth of the modern novel in the eighteenth century with books like Samuel Richardson's Pamela to recent blockbusters like Fifty Shades of Grey. As we grapple now with seemingly endemic sexual harassment and abuse across government, entertainment, education, medicine, sports, and other industries, we'll look at the origins of the enduring trope that promises a woman a future full of romantic bliss and financial security-if only she submits against her will. Featuring senior editor at The Daily Beast Erin Gloria Ryan and professor of feminist literature Charlotte Sussman, and moderated by professor of African-American History Adriane Lentz-Smith, this conversation is open to all in the Duke community and the public.

Pink Parlor
East Duke Building
Duke's East Campus

A light lunch will be served.

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Co-sponsors of the UNSUITABLE series include Duke's Forum for Scholars and Publics, African & African American Studies, History Department, Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies, Religious Studies, Kenan Institute for Ethics, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, #Artstigators, and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute.