This is my Project Proposal for my Symposium Presentation. I feel like I have a solid idea that has not been overly researched. So while this will potentially require more research from me that other peoples ideas, it also gives me a lot of freedom to tackle it how I feel appropriate, and not worry about reiterating other peoples ideas and work.

Research Project Proposal


Name: Emma Shea

Title: Rape Culture and Photography

Mode Of Presentation: Symposium Presentation

Description Of Subject To Be Investigated: I am hoping to focus my Symposium on Rape Culture and its relationship with photography, as well as the media. This comes from my previous interest in the subject of Rape Culture and its prevalence in society, which was brought on by personal experience and self directed research. I feel that despite more exposure on the subject, I have seen little specific analysis on how photography has an impact on the subject, and what relationship, either positive or negative, it shares. I believe photography has a lot of power with subjects that are emotionally charged, so it’s important to analyse whether it can, or already is, being utilised. How is it being used? What effect is it, or could it be having?

I will also include other types of media in my analysis, such as the Internet, film, and music videos, as they are intrinsically linked with photography and have a very far-reaching audience and impact on society and public views.

I intend to lead on from my initial research and knowledge of the increase in Rape Culture being exposed and discussed online, as well the analysis of photography by people such as Liz Wells and Ariella Azoulay. I will include national statistics and a brief explanation on what the concept of Rape Culture is, to introduce people to what I will be discussing and add credence to the relevance of the discussion.

My talk will link in with wider reaching discussions of sexism and objectification, how these affect Rape Culture in our society and how photographers and the media perpetrate them. This will probably include how photography used in mainstream media not only affects women, but also affects men, and the hyper-masculinity and restrictive gender roles represented adds to a much wider issue as to why rape culture is prevalent.

I will look at debates regarding whether photography is being used to reinforce Rape Culture in society, and is therefore detrimental, or whether I can be an effective force to bring exposure and knowledge, as well as being a voice for victims.

Sources To Be Utilised: I wish to include Internet blogs, articles, and videos, as I feel the Internet is an important platform for this discussion. I may draw on first hand experience, however I don’t want my presentation to become a personal matter. I will also look at News reports that are related along with photography books.

I will look at, and include photographers, bloggers and mainstream videos in my research, these will probably form the backbone of visual evidence I will use.

Methods To Be Used In Acquisition Of Sources: I will, as mentioned earlier, utilize Internet research for the purposes of my presentation. I will also use databases such as LexisLibrary, Locate and Art Full Text. The Lancaster Library will be an invaluable tool for books, however if they do not have what I am looking for, the Birmingham and the British Library are useful substitutes, though travel could be a concern.

Methods/ Forms Of Interpretation/ Analysis To Be Used With The Information And Sources: I will use my WordPress Blog to analyse and discuss my research and collate the multiple pieces of material I will be utilizing for my Symposium Presentation.

Rough Plan/ Schedule Of Work;

  • (Starting 14th October) – Collection of resources and research (Links, Books etc.)
  • Look More in depth into collected research
  • Spilt research into Sections (positives and negatives)
  • Begin designing layout of talk (make sure to gather and source images I plan to use)
  • Start writing/ Fleshing out talk
  • Get talk looked over at multiple intervals (Tutors, friends etc.)
  • Continue (keep eye of for new research material)
  • Put together PowerPoint in line with writing presentation
  • Have completed before symposium with enough time for practice, check overs with Tutors and any necessary changes



Warscapes (2014) Fashion and Rape Culture [online] available from [20th Oct 2014]

Penny. M (2013) ‘Laurie Penny on Steubenville: this is rape culture’s Abu Ghraib moment’. New Statesman [online] 19th March. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Tumblr [2014] This Is Rape Culture [online] available from [20th Oct 2014]

Valenti. J (2014) ‘Beyond ‘no means no’: the future of campus rape prevention is ‘yes means yes’’. The Guardian [online] 2nd September. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Tumblr [2014] Project Unbreakable [online] available from [20th Oct 2014]

N/A (2013) ‘’There is no way you are a virgin. You have done this before’: Rape survivors share attackers’ words in project which breaks down taboos of talking about sexual abuse’. Daily Mail [online] 22nd September. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Lynch. A (2014) ‘Fashion shoot glamourising horrific Indian gang rape removed by photographer after widespread outrage’. Metro [online] 6th August. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Bhasin. K (2011) ’13 Most Offensive PETA Advertisements’. Business Insider [online] 12th October. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Pennington. L (2013) ‘Has PETA Gone To Far? Sexism, Pornography and Advertising’. Huffington Post [online] 7th January. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Martinson. J (2013) ‘How did the media fail women in 2013?’. The Guardian [online] 12th December. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Everyday Media Sexism [2014] Everyday Media Sexism [online] available from [20th Oct 2014]

Conway. D (2013) ‘The Next Time Someone Says Sexism Isn’t Real, Show Them These Shocking Role-Reversal Images’. Upworthy [online] N/A. Available from [20th Oct 2014]

Wells. L (ed.) (2009) ‘Photography A Critical Introduction’. 4th edn. London: Routledge


Azoulay. A (2008) ‘The Civil Contract of Photography’. 1st edn. New York: Zone Books

Smith. M (ed.) (2004) ‘Encyclopedia of Rape’. 1st edn. Westport: Greenwood Press

This is not a complete list, but is a look at resources that have strongly influenced me so far.