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Reading gestures in/of an archive: effects of body and testimonies on obstetric violence

Grant number: 16/20876-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): June 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics - Linguistic Theory and Analysis
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Lucília Maria Abrahão e Sousa
Grantee:Aline Fernandes de Azevedo Bocchi
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Ribeirão Preto , SP, Brazil


The aim of this research project is to mobilize, discuss and problematize the discursive functioning of testimonies produced from experiences of violence, abuse and oppression at childbirth or related to it. Supported on a theoretical framework situated in-between the fields of Psychoanalysis, Literary Studies, Feminist and Queer Theories and, above all, Discourse Analysis, the proposed research aims to offer a space to formulate and circulate an expression of violence by creating and implementing an archive of traumatic birth reports. The core of the project is to open up spaces to listen to women whose bodies were subjugated through sexist and mutilating medical practices, by creating a website that will be a place for these narratives about violence. The collection will be made by an organization called Artemis, who will assume the role of facilitator with the interviewees. Among the specific objectives are: a) to investigate ways of formulating the traumatic experience of obstetric violence, witness accounts of suffering and pain that account for a woman´s feelings, her body and her sexuality; b) to reflect on the way the body and speech/writing intertwine in the witnesses´ discourse; c) to discuss oblivion policies and silencing that organize and provide feelings for women, their bodies and their ways of giving birth; d) to discuss the testimony as an event which marks the passage of the trauma experienced by the nameable trauma; e) to encourage theoretical reflections about constructing the archive related to the author´s gestures that it enables, etc. After conducting the research, we intend to create a political registration space for the formulation and circulation of testimonies of violence in childbirth, as well as improve the legal documentation of the testimony by making the archive, thus intending to bring about social transformation by memory production. (AU)

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