Call for Papers for Special Edition of Violence Against Women journal – “Teaching Domestic Violence”

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Teaching About Domestic Violence
Special Issue
Original manuscripts sought for a special issue of Violence Against Women entitled
“Teaching About Domestic Violence.” The special issue will be edited by Madelaine
Adelman (Justice & Social Inquiry, Arizona State University) and Donna Coker (Law,
University of Miami).
The university campus was a critical site for second wave feminists in the U.S. who
gathered to raise the campus and community consciousness about woman battering. Since
this period of feminist organization against woman battering, faculty and staff have been
teaching about violence against women on university campuses. Early discussions about
rape and domestic violence were shared informally after a class, through non-curricular
activities hosted by a Women’s Center, and within mainstream courses taught by feminist
faculty, sometimes in partnership with community activists. Soon enough, officially
recognized courses focusing on domestic violence began to proliferate across university
campuses. Typically they have been found within social science or humanities
undergraduate curricula or as part of the elective law, social work or nursing school
coursework. Today, textbooks directed at student audiences provide instructors with
informative overviews and case studies centered on domestic violence (and other forms
of gender violence). Further, some courses address the “battered women’s movement”
within the scope of a larger discussion of social justice movements or international
human rights, while others examine the state’s response to domestic violence through an
intersectional lens of race, class, and colonization. It is safe to say that the teaching of
domestic violence has become institutionalized in certain ways at colleges and
universities. This special issue asks contributors to reflect on the state of teaching about
domestic violence.
The questions which motivate this proposed special issue are:
• How, where, by whom and for what purpose is domestic violence taught on
university campuses? Does it remain within the purview of the social sciences,
law, or social work schools? To what extent has domestic violence been
“mainstreamed” within disciplinary programs, interdisciplinary programs, or in
professional degree programs? How is teaching and learning about domestic
violence “disciplined,” that is, how do the theories, epistemological frameworks
and methodologies valued by a particular discipline shape various teaching about
domestic violence?
• What body of knowledge is taught and how is it taught within university and
college courses on domestic violence? How is domestic violence incorporated
into other courses on campus? Is knowledge about domestic violence understood
as settled? Contested? Polarized within or across intellectual fields? How have
faculty integrated (or not) new ideas about structural inequality, political
economy, intersectionality and difference within their teaching about domestic violence? How are student experience and knowledge of domestic violence
considered within the university classroom?
• What are the current myths and assumptions students and faculty have about
domestic violence? What role does the internet play in student and faculty
construction and consumption of domestic violence knowledge? What roles do
co-curricular activities, service learning, student services/student life, student
activism, or community-based organizations play in how domestic violence is
taught and learned about?
With this special issue we seek to reveal how and why domestic violence remains an area
of pedagogical interest at the college and university level, and to take stock of the state of
the art of teaching about domestic violence. In doing so, we hope to document the
movement against violence against women, and share innovative approaches to thinking,
learning and teaching about domestic violence.
We welcome original contributions on individual or team-taught courses or programs
related to domestic violence. Contributors are asked to reflect on how they incorporate
disciplinary frames, theoretical tensions, or other sources of intellectual and policy debate
within the field of domestic violence studies, into their courses, along with the challenges
and opportunities embedded within their approach to teaching and learning.
Potential contributors to the special issue are asked to submit their manuscripts of no
more than 30 double-spaced pages, inclusive of abstract, tables, figures, notes and
references, written in APA style. Shorter essays are welcome. The manuscript must
include an abstract of no more than 100 words.
Please send the manuscript in WORD format as an attachment to Donna Coker
( and to Madelaine Adelman ( no later than
Monday, October 1, 2012.


About Donna Coker

Law Professor at University of Miami School of Law
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