Wei, Jemimah Xin Zi
Date of Issue2017-11-23
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
My work consists of two parts – a 23,000 word abstract from a novel I’ve written, and an exegesis detailing the focus of my writing and research. Through both fiction and exegesis, I aim to illustrate how the normalization of crimes that fall outside the traditional understanding of sexual harassment can reinforce the trauma victims undergo, with a special focus on the female experience. Specifically, in this exegesis, I will explore the different ways in which this trauma is not only normalized, but also often exploited in fiction. I also argue that scholarship based fiction can play a crucial part in guiding the way we approach certain topics without being exploitative, and also function in and of itself as therapy for survivors of sexual trauma via the genre of literary neuroscience and the health humanities. Ultimately, this exegesis hopes to highlight the ways in which fiction can play a role in the grander framework of understanding and working through traumatic experiences, both in the individual experience and in society. As a result, my novel, Smaller Crimes, attempts to both bring awareness to the small, dismissed, everyday crimes committed against women, as well as the ways our reaction to these crimes are crimes in themselves.