The Situationist

Conference: The Troubling Language of Rape

Posted by The Situationist Staff on January 22, 2007


The Judicial Language Project at the Center for Law and Social Responsibility at New England School of Law Announces its First Conference:

The Troubling Language of Rape: how eroticism, gender myths and victim blaming affect social and legal discourse.

Language affects all aspects of our lives – socially, culturally and legally. Rape myths and the use of erotic and sexualized language continue to permeate the discourse surrounding sexual assault, in both the media and the courtroom. This conference will bring linguists, social scientists, and legal scholars together to take a critical look at the language used in sexual assault discourse.


The conference is offered by the Judicial Language Project (JLP) at the Center for Law and Social Responsibility. The JLP, the only project of its kind in the country, uses socio-linguistic research to identify problematic language in judicial opinions for the purpose of focusing the attention of the judiciary, the bar, community activists and the public on its harmful impact. In doing so, participants in the JLP hope to reduce the use of needlessly erotic, sexist, minimizing or “blaming” language to describe sexually violent behavior, and to thereby affect society’s perceptions of sexual assault.

When: Saturday March 24, 2007 – 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

Where: New England School of Law, 154 Stuart Street, Boston, MA 02116judicial-reporters.jpg

Confirmed Presenters:

Tory Bowen, Victim Advocate

Ross Cheit, Brown University

Linda Coates, Okanagan College

Justice Robert Cordy, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court

Lisa Cromer, SUNY Medical

Susan Ehrlich, York University

Toni Irving, University of Notre Dame

Wendy Murphy, New England School of Law

Penny Pether, Villanova Law School

Jonathan Saltzman, Boston Globe

Registration is free, but space is limited – Registration begins on January 16, 2007.


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