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Tainted witness : why we doubt what women say about their lives  Cover Image Book Book

Tainted witness : why we doubt what women say about their lives / Leigh Gilmore.


"In 1991, Anita Hill's testimony during Clarence Thomas's Senate confirmation hearing brought the problem of sexual harassment to a public audience. Although widely believed by women, Hill was defamed by conservatives and Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. The tainting of Hill and her testimony is part of a larger social history in which women find themselves caught up in a system that refuses to believe what they say. Hill's experience shows how a tainted witness is not who someone is, but what someone can become. Tainted Witness examines how gender, race, and doubt stick to women witnesses as their testimony circulates in search of an adequate witness. Judgment falls unequally upon women who bear witness, as well-known conflicts about testimonial authority in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries reveal. Women's testimonial accounts demonstrate both the symbolic potency of women's bodies and speech in the public sphere and the relative lack of institutional security and control to which they can lay claim. Each testimonial act follows in the wake of a long and invidious association of race and gender with lying that can be found to this day within legal courts and everyday practices of judgment, defining these locations as willfully unknowing and hostile to complex accounts of harm. Bringing together feminist, literary, and legal frameworks, Leigh Gilmore provides provocative readings of what happens when women's testimony is discredited. She demonstrates how testimony crosses jurisdictions, publics, and the unsteady line between truth and fiction in search of justice."--Jacket.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780231177146
  • ISBN: 0231177143
  • ISBN: 9780231177153
  • ISBN: 0231177151
  • ISBN: 9780231177153
  • Physical Description: xi, 218 pages ; 24 cm.
  • Publisher: New York : Columbia University Press, [2017]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 197-207) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction : tainted witness in testimonial networks -- Anita Hill, Clarence Thomas, and the search for an adequate witness -- Jurisdictions and testimonial networks : Rigoberta MenchĂș -- Neoliberal life narrative : from testimony to self-help -- Witness by proxy : girls in humanitarian storytelling -- Tainted witness in law and literature : Nafissatou Diallo and Jamaica Kincaid -- Conclusion : testimonial publics--#BlackLivesMatter and Claudia Rankine's Citizen.
Subject: Sex discrimination against women > Law and legislation.
Sex discrimination > Law and legislation.
Sex discrimination in criminal justice administration.
Witnesses > Public opinion.
Crime > Sex differences.
Women > Crimes against > Law and legislation > Public opinion.
False testimony.
Feminist theory.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kirtland Community College Library K 3243 .G55 2017 30775305538010 General Collection Available -

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