Campus News


Meet the Author Series | Sarah England, Associate Professor of Anthropology

The first Meet the Author event, honoring Professor Sarah England's new book, Writing Terror on the Bodies of Women: Media Coverage of Violence against women in Guatemala, was held on Wednesday, Sept. 19 from 4:45-6:00pm in the Athenaeum main hall.

At the outset of her presentation, Professor England highlighted how this project reflected the scholar-teacher model and the role of SUA students in both initiating this project and subsequently assisting in the compilation and translation of materials covering a fourteen-year period. In addition, Professor England acknowledged the support that she had received from SUA in the form of a Pacific Basin Research Center summer grant that enabled her to conduct field work in Guatemala.   

Professor England’s analysis employs “frames”; how the problem is represented in the media, narratives of victim and perpetrator alike, patriarchy and a culture of machismo, and responsibility to address violence against women In an environment where gang-related violence is endemic and policing is ineffective or corrupt, and few cases are solved.  Investigative reporting is constrained by intimidation and/or the threat of reprisal, and newspaper accounts often victimize the victim by holding women responsible, either for the violence committed against them, or for failing to report these crimes. To a certain extent, violence against women is also a legacy of the brutal civil war that gripped Guatemala for 36 years (1960-1996). This, coupled with the normalization of violence has created a culture of fear in which violence against women, though widespread, is under-reported and poorly understood.

Photos courtesy of University Archivist and Photographers