Survivor Voices and Stories

In the fifth event in RIKK and GEST’s conversation series Rochelle McFee and Pamela Runestad will discuss survivor voices and stories. Rochelle McFee is a Doctoral Candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California San Diego, USA. One of her main research interests is sexual violence against queer women in Jamaica. Pamela Runestad is a medical anthropologist and an Assistant Professor of Global Health at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania, USA.

The #MeToo movement rode in on the backs of many already existing movements against sexual harassment and violence, adding energy to some and lingering on the margins of others; but it gave renewed visibility to the importance of survivor narratives, placing them at the centre of not just the fight for justice, but also of a larger, feminist, understanding of the positions of survivors themselves. A survivor herself, Rochelle McFee will focus on some of the tensions in the work of survivor-activists that are made visible through their positions. Acknowledging the (im)possibility of accessing justice/healing through state mechanisms, she will focus, rather, on thinking through how harm is reproduced in the context of feminist movements/organizations that survivor-activists are part of. Coming from a medical anthropology perspective, Pamela Runestad has written about the process undergone by survivors of articulating and voicing narratives of sexual violence. In these publications, she takes the reader through a deeply empathetic journey in an effort to comprehend the many forces at work behind a survivor narrative. In this session, Runestad will discuss the rationale and challenges behind writing in this mode.

#MeToo: Thinking Ahead is the topic of the RIKK – Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference and Gender Equality Studies and Training (GEST) Programme conversation series in spring 2021. The series focuses on #MeToo, its gains as well as the challenges that remain in the fight against harassment, discrimination and violence. The series builds upon two recent books published on the movement, firstly an Icelandic issue of Fléttur, RIKK’s book series, and secondly The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of the #MeToo Movement, edited by Irma Erlingsdóttir, Director of RIKK and GEST, and Giti Chandra, Research Specialist at GEST.

The event will take place on Thursday 29 April at 16.00-17.00 GMT. The sessions are held on Zoom ( and will be live-streamed on Facebook. Recordings of the sessions will be made available on RIKK’s website and the Youtube-Channel of the School of Humanities.