2020 Interdisciplinary Symposium on Sexual Violence

Feb 07, 2020


In keeping with its mission to educate undergraduates for gender equity, Newcomb Institute hosted a symposium on sexual violence on Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. The day-long symposium featured presentations by leading researchers and experts, including historians, lawyers, and psychologists from universities around the country.

In response to Tulane’s 2017 Wave of Change Climate Survey, 41% of undergraduate women and 18% of undergraduate men reported having experienced sexual assault since enrolling at Tulane. While steps have been taken to address these alarming numbers, more remains to be done, as evidenced by recent reports of violence on and off-campus.


View the event itinerary and listen to audio below. 


“Newcomb Institute is excited to bring leading experts to campus to present the latest research on sexual violence, and to foster interdisciplinary conversation on this complex topic. We look forward to engaging the broader Tulane community in seeking solutions to this critical issue.”

Sally J. Kenney

Executive Director, Newcomb Institute

Sally J. Kenney, P.h.D., has served as executive director of the Newcomb Institute and held the Newcomb Endowed Chair since 2010. She is a faculty member in the Political Science Department and an affiliated faculty member in the law school. Her research interests include sexual assault on campus, women’s imprisonment, women and leadership, gender and judging, judicial selection, feminist social movements, women and electoral politics, the European Court of Justice, exclusionary employment policies, and pregnancy discrimination. Her latest book is Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter.

Jennifer J. Freyd, Ph.D., is the Founder of the Center for Institutional Courage, Professor of Psychology at the University of Oregon, Visiting Scholar at Stanford Medical School, and Faculty Affiliate of the VMware Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab at Stanford University. She is also a Member of the Advisory Committee, 2019-2023, for the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, and leader of the Program on Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Sexual Violence at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, 2019-20, where she was a Fellow, 1989-90 and 2018-19. Freyd is a widely published scholar known for her theories of betrayal trauma, institutional betrayal, institutional courage, and DARVO.

Mary Koss, Ph.D., is a Regents’ Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. She published the first national study of sexual assault among college students in 1987, which is the subject of the newly released I Never Called it Rape: The Ms. Report on Recognizing, Fighting and Surviving Date and Acquaintance Rape. Her current funded projects are two randomized trial evaluations of sexual assault prevention: Safer Bars focuses on perpetration prevention, and E-AAA (a victimization prevention program enhanced with self-defense) focuses on victimization prevention. Other ongoing interests are campus climate surveys, misconduct response processes, and accountability for those responsible for sexual assault. She was the principal investigator of the RESTORE Program; the first restorative justice program for sex crimes among adults that was quantitatively evaluated. She has received awards from the American Psychological Association: the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy (2000), Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology (2017), and the Carolyn Wood Sherif Award for Sustained Contributions to Psychology of Women.


Donna Freitas, Ph.D., is the author of both fiction and nonfiction, and she lectures at universities across the US on her work about college students. She is a non-resident research associate at the Center for Religion and Society at Notre Dame. Freitas has been a professor at Boston University in the Department of Religion and at Hofstra University in their Honors College. She is author of Sex and the Soul: Juggling Sexuality, Spirituality, Romance, and Religion on America’s College Campuses (Oxford University Press, 2008), Consent on Campus: A Manifesto (Oxford University Press, 2019), and Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention (Little, Brown and Co, 2019).

Catherine Jacquet, P.h.D., is Assistant Professor of History and Women’s and Gender Studies at Louisiana State University. She is the author of The Injustices of Rape: How Activists Responded to Sexual Violence, 1950-1980 (UNC Press, 2019) and Guest Curator, “Confronting Violence, Improving Women’s Lives” exhibition with the National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland, Sept 2015 – Aug 2016. Her research focuses on 20th century US social movements, sexual violence, anti-rape activism, and rape law.


Crystal Feimster, Ph.D., is a tenured Associate Professor of African American Studies, History and American Studies at Yale University. Feimster’s academic focus is racial and sexual violence; currently, she is completing a project on rape during the American Civil War. Her book, Southern Horrors: Women and the Politics of Rape and Lynching, focuses on two women journalists, Ida B. Wells, who campaigned against lynching, and Rebecca Latimer Felton, who urged white men to prove their manhood by lynching black men accused of raping white women.


Donna Coker, JD, is Professor of Law and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar at the University of Miami School of Law. Her scholarship focuses on criminal law, gender, and race inequality. She is a nationally recognized expert in intimate partner violence (IPV) law and policy. Her research concerns the connection between economic vulnerability and IPV; restorative justice responses to IPV and sexual harm; and the intersections of gender and race subordination in criminal law doctrine, policy, and application. Her research is interdisciplinary and influenced by scholarship in critical race feminism, restorative justice, public health, and criminology.


Raymond (Ray) Douglas, Ph.D., is Russell Colgate Distinguished University Professor of History at Colgate University. His most recent work, Orderly and Humane: The Expulsion of the Germans after the Second World War (2012), received the 2013 George Louis Beer Prize from the American Historical Association. He is the author of the memoir, On Being Raped (Beacon Press, 2016).

Ray Douglas interviewed by Izabela Steflja, Professor of Practice in Political Science, Tulane.