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European Union Centre of Excellence

Lecture: Between Testimony and Bearing Witness – Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the EU Asylum Process – March 20, 2012 – 12:30 to 2:00pm

Prof. Galya Ruffer

Prof. Galya Ruffer, Northwestern University

EUCE York and the Centre for Refugee Studies present a lecture by Prof. Galya Ruffer (Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at Northwestern University) entitled “Between Testimony and Bearing Witness: Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the EU Asylum Process.” The talk will be held on Tuesday, March 20th, in room 280N York Lanes (building #24 on the map found here) from 12:30 to 2:00 pm.

Through a comparative analysis of witness and expert testimony in Congolese cases of sexual violence in the EU, ICC and locally in the Congo, this paper offers an examination of “cultures” of sexual violence in terms of how experts and legal fora in the European context make use of victim and expert testimony to understand massive sexual violence. The study uses the ongoing conflict in the Congo known as “the rape capital of the world” as a lens through which to examine the ways in which expert and victim testimony contribute to the production of forms of knowledge. The paper seeks to offer a deeper understanding of the problematic relationship between testimony and the responsibility to bear witness as part of a broader concern for social justice.

Galya Ruffer is the founding Director of the Center for Forced Migration Studies at the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and the Director of the International Studies Program, Northwestern University. Her current research, grounded in socio-legal approaches and critical legal studies, focuses on the documentation of refugee rights and protection and the potential of new technologies, sexual violence in post-conflict and protracted situations with an emphasis on the Great Lakes region of Africa and the role of testimony in international criminal justice. She has published on asylum law and policy, human rights litigation in transnational courts and immigrant incorporation and integration in Europe.

All are welcome and light refreshments will be served.

Date: Tuesday, March 20th, 2012
Time: 12:30-2:00 pm
Location: 280N York Lanes