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'Narratives of Child Sexual Abuse in Italian literature. Results, implications and questions'

Seminar led by Prof. Luciano Parisi (ML Exeter)

Summary: I will briefly summarize my research and exemplify it with recent publications and work in progress. I will then focus on the ultimate meaning of my work: what is it? My first answer – stressing the need of a better understanding of texts that have been rarely discussed and whose value is seldom acknowledged – makes sense within my disciplinary context. However, child sexual abuse is studied by law scholars, psychiatrists and social workers. What role do literary studies play in this wider context? Or, in other words, how does literary culture translate into legal, medical or welfare-related cultures? Focused on the Italian context, my answer is three-fold: literary authors and readers have often been more (and sometimes less) perceptive than specialists working on abuse; the stories told by literary authors can better prepare communities for the supportive roles that they are increasingly expected to have; and well-told, socially validated stories are needed for the recovery process. Examples will be given.

Event details


Queens Building LT6.2