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Seeing Rape is both a course and a theater project. As a course, students examine rape as both an idea and an act. Specifically considering rape and sexual violence as it is represented in law, media, film, theater, literature, performance art, and pop music. Students are challenged to confront, question, critique, and contest how cultures define rape. We see how rape is interpreted, understood, used and manipulated in the service of those who have power over those who do not. We consider law in the U.S. and abroad as well as various societal (i.e. non-legal) responses to rape. Ultimately then, students employ their critical and creative skills to write and stage original plays on this theme at the end of the semester. Each year, between eight and 10 plays—representing as much diversity as the class itself—are selected to be performed in a staged reading by professional actors.

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