skip to content

Department of Social Anthropology

The Cambridge University Social Anthropology Society (CUSAS) is pleased to announce that the 2018 Annual Marilyn Strathern Lecture will be delivered by Professor Don Kulick (Uppsala University), on the title:

    Violence, Talk and Nonsense: Gang Rape in a Papua New Guinean Village

In Papua New Guinea, sexual violence against women occurs at staggering rates. My talk will present material from a small, isolated Sepik village called Gapun, where I have been conducting fieldwork for the past thirty years. I will play audio recordings of how women tell each other stories about gang rapes of both women and men. I will argue that any attempt to produce a coherent explanation of the sexual violence that occurs in the village risks losing sight of the essential senselessness that in crucial ways structures it. Drawing on philosophical and literary analyses of nonsense, I will suggest that rather than attempt to make sense of the sexual violence that occurs in Gapun, an important anthropological contribution to comprehending it may 
be to make nonsense of it.
The lecture will take place at 5pm on Thursday, 24th May in the Main Lecture Theatre of St John’s Old Divinity School (St John’s Street, Cambridge, CB2 1TP).
The lecture is free and open to the public. A drinks reception will follow.
Thursday, 24 May, 2018 - 17:00 to 18:30
Contact name: 
Christina Woolner
Contact email: 
Event location: 
St John's Old Divinity School