Book launch takes place during MSVU Students’ Union’s second annual Consent Week

Dr. KelleyAnne Malinen of the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Mount Saint Vincent University will launch her new book titled,Dis/Content: Perspectives on Sexual Consent and Sexual Violence on Thursday, October 17. The book launch will take place in the Seton Academic Centre at MSVU, room 405, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and is open to all.

The launch will feature a panel discussion on sexual consent and sexual violence. Panelists (many of who are contributors to the book) will include Maya Eichler, El Jones, Ellie Lamothe, KelleyAnne Malinen, San Patten, Sherry Pictou, Jackie Stevens, Chanelle Gallant, Meredith Ralston and Andrea Zanin. The book will be available for purchase and proceeds from the book sales, as well as a basket raffle and a 50/50 draw, will be donated to the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre.

According to KelleyAnne, Dis/Content examines how negations of sexual autonomy play out in a range of contexts across Canada. It is a collection of contributions representing a range of perspectives and issues.

Dis/Consent takes as its starting point scholar Abby Wilkerson’s observation that oppressed groups are generally subject to erotophobic judgements, restriction of erotic practice, sexual violence, and harassment. In other words, oppression generally involves denial of the rights either to give or withhold consent.” KelleyAnne believes that it is important for people to understand how these inequalities play out in terms of rates of sexual perpetration, levels of recognition, and responses from service providers and from communities more broadly.

“The book most directly addresses issues of recognition in that it pushes our thinking about sexual violence into areas that are not commonly explored in mainstream discourse.”

In the process of editing the book, KelleyAnne has also been inspired by the openness of the community in participating in discussions. “I have witnessed the passion and commitment that scholars, activists, and MSVU students have when it comes to addressing issues of sexual violence and sexual consent. The project has been inspiring and energizing in this respect.” She notes the intellectual contributions and hard work of all of the contributing authors, as well as Fernwood Publishing for their support and expertise.

The book launch on October 17 coincides with the MSVU Students’ Union’s second annual Consent Week coordinated by Kenya Thompson, Vice President of Advocacy with the MSVUSU. The week of programming focuses on building consent culture on campus, while promoting resources available to students year-round. Topics being explored will include educating students on informed consent, advocating for reproductive justice, and highlighting the efforts of student and community leaders at MSVU and across Canada who are working to combat sexualized violence.

“The ultimate goal of Consent Week (October 17 to 24) is to foster a culture of consent at the Mount, and send the message loud and clear that consent culture, not rape culture, is the norm on this campus,” Thompson says. “It is my hope that by encouraging students to think about consent in different ways—engaging folks through tabling and posters and workshop-style events and pub events—everyone will be able to take something away from the week, and contribute to that culture of consent moving forward into the rest of the year.” To learn more about some of the events taking place during Consent Week, follow the MSVUSU Facebook page.

KelleyAnne and Kenya both acknowledge the phenomenal work of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, a feminist organization providing sexual assault prevention and response services for the community. All royalties from the sales of Dis/Content on October 17 will go directly towards the Centre.