Within a broad spectrum of historical and cross-cultural violence against women, the female body is subjected to patriarchal inscriptions which range from fashion-driven body modifications to brutal mutilation – related practices on a continuum of acceptance and repulsion which obscures commonalities and erases distinctions.

From 2014-2018, UnCUT/VOICES Press co-sponsored a series of workshops at the University of Oxford (Lady Margaret Hall and Kellogg College) and a special session at Harvard’s Hutchins Center from which a proposal emerged to strengthen the presence of female genital mutilation studies in the academy. Scholars in the field had, for decades, responded to pleas by students for mentoring and assistance unavailable from professors in their chosen fields with limited knowledge of excision or, if they taught or researched it, chose not to understand it as a human rights violation deserving of censure. What marked these colloquia as special was the equal representation of activists, researchers, and scholars whose work unfolds as a contribution to increasing the human rights of women.

More recently, at the Arts & Humanities Research Institute, King’s College, University of London, although limited in its flowering by COVID-19, the original idea was refined and now strives for a programme scrutinizing patriarchal inscriptions on female bodies combining study, grounded theorizing and application (for uses in education and in outreach). Building on extensive scholarship and advocacy in the field of epistemic injustice and embodied gender performances, we will add new areas of interpretation and activism.

You are invited to download the full King’s College programme here.