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VANESSA PLACE: THE GUILT OF RHETORIC AND THE RHETORIC OF GUILT

Event Date: 
Monday, April 29, 2013

VANESSA PLACE: THE GUILT OF RHETORIC AND THE RHETORIC OF GUILT
Respondent: David Frank (Sociology, UCI)

12–1.30PM / Humanities Gateway Room 1002

Guilt is not a fact about someone. Guilt is a conclusion about something. That something is a fact about how law and culture collude to turn social values into social realities. So guilt becomes a way of getting what we want, often from those in need. In The Guilt Project, criminal appellate attorney Vanessa Place looks at crime and punishment under our sex laws to challenge the idea of guilt by questioning its definitions—factual, ethical, moral—and our desire for the guilty.

Vanessa Place is a writer and a criminal defense attorney practicing in Los Angeles and the author of The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law (2010). Place has worked on the appeals of more than a thousand indigent felons, specializing in sex offenders and sexually violent predators. She is also co-director of Les Figues Press, a critic, and the first poet to perform as part of the Whitney Biennial (a content advisory was posted). She lectures and performs internationally.

Lecture and discussion co-sponsored by the Center in Law, Society and Culture; the Department of English and the Department of Women’s Studies