Since its inception in 2002, the Tulane Reading Project has created a shared intellectual experience for the entering first-year class through the reading and discussion of a selected book. With a variety of events scheduled throughout the fall semester, the Reading Project creates a campus-wide dialogue on a variety of themes.
Nationally, awareness regarding campus sexual violence has been growing, and at Tulane we are proactively addressing this issue. In Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture—and What We Can Do About It, Kate Harding combines in-depth research with an engaging voice to make the case that twenty-first-century America supports rapists more effectively than it supports victims. Drawing on real-world examples of what has become known as "rape culture"—from politicos' revealing gaffes to institutional failures in higher education and the military—Harding offers ideas and suggestions for how we, as a society, can take sexual violence much more seriously without compromising the rights of the accused. She also demonstrates that rape culture has a negative impact on everyone—not just victims of sexual assault, and not just women.
Asking For It was chosen by a committee of faculty, students, and staff, in conjunction with a campus-wide exploration of the theme of power. Students will be given several opportunities to engage with the material through events and programming in the fall semester, including "Shifting the Paradigm" on September 22nd with a keynote lecture by author Kate Harding. Additional details can be found by clicking the "Events" tab at left, which will be updated as events are scheduled.
We recognize that this material may be difficult for some of our students, especially for those who are survivors themselves. Yet, as Harding points out, maintaining a culture of silence surrounding sexual assault is even more damaging. We have included a Resources tab with support, reporting, and education resources at Tulane, most of which are available to students even before they arrive on campus. We encourage students to become familiar with these resources and with the dedicated staff, faculty, and students who are available to provide support.
The Winnipeg Free Press writes, "There are good books, well-worn and dog-eared, that you pass among your friends with a single-line review: 'You have to read this.' And then there are important books. Books that capture a cultural moment. Books that have the power to change attitudes and influence thinking. Kate Harding's Asking for It is both kinds of book."
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