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Dimitra Cupo

Dimitra Cupo profile picture
  • Title: Pro-Tem Instructor
  • Office: 622 PLC
  • Office Hours: Spring 2022: By appointment only

Statement

My research interests lie at the intersection of bodily violence and historical-contingency. I am trying to understand the historical accidents that have shaped current theorizing around violence; how they could have happened differently and led to a radically different interpretation of violence and bodies. I am interested in the critical method of genealogical excavation that informs this project and others like it. I am interested in how we think we know things about bodies and why we assign the category of violence to certain instances and not others. In particular, I am exploring the implications of ways of knowing to violence against women’s bodies. 

My current project is a study of elite women who take self-defense classes and the ways in which power, privilege and violence become legitimated and reproduced. This work is an exploration of how bodies are organized in various ways that bestow or remove privilege, justify or exclude violence, and signal status or exclusion. 

A secondary project is the historical excavation of how violence became possible through sexual encounters, as it became de-linked from self-love, expression and celebration. I find significance in how current formulations of rape are informed by this historically-contingent shift. I propose that social justice efforts aimed at rendering visible the problem of sexual assault could benefit from the excavation of its current incarnation in public discourse.