In 2014, Time published an article claiming rape culture doesn’t exist in twenty-first century America. Twitter exploded. Using the hashtag #RapeCultureIsWhen , a million people took to Twitter to testify to rape culture’s existence. Beyond simply verifying the existence of rape culture in the U.S., these provocative tweets demonstrated the need to thoughtfully analyze and discuss how social institutions and cultural practices normalize sexual violence in all its forms. Four years later, new hashtag activism such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have only increased this urgency. Dr. Garst-Santos argues that Miguel de Cervantes’s ambiguous representations of rape in Don Quijote can facilitate these conversations, challenging readers to examine our own beliefs about rape culture and sexual violence.
Christine Garst-Santos is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Interim Department Head at South Dakota State University. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Spanish with a graduate certificate in Chicano Studies from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. in Spanish Literature from the University of Iowa. She has published articles on performance, identity, and critical ethics in Don Quijote. She is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled “The World Turned Upside Down”: Don Quijote in Pop Culture.
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