CSHPE doctoral candidate Kamaria Porter earns Research Fellowship for dissertation on Black and White women’s decisions to report sexual violence

March 25, 2019

Kamaria Porter, doctoral candidate in the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education, is among ten graduate students to receive Rackham Community of Scholars summer fellowships awarded by The Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Awards were granted to students from disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, public health, and education who are engaged in scholarly research or other creative projects focusing on women, gender or sexuality.

All awardees participate in a weekly interdisciplinary seminar during May and June, with time for individual research during July and August. Awardees will present their work at a public symposium in Fall 2019. The students were selected from a highly competitive pool. Their diverse set of projects demonstrates the scope of women and gender studies at U-M.

Porter’s dissertation, Speaking Into Silence: Intersections of Identity, Legality, and the Decision to Report Sexual Violence on Campus, aims to understand what factors influence Black and White women’s decisions to report sexual violence to their university. Grounded in Black Feminist Thought and socio-legal studies, the conceptual framework demonstrates how perceptions of the law and availability of resources to prevail in court are shaped by intersecting systems of oppression and privilege, especially race and gender. Using trauma-informed narrative inquiry, Porter elicits interview and visual narratives from survivors to examine how their intersecting identities, narratives of the law and Title IX, and the campus context influenced their decision to report or not.

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