On this week’s 51%, we spend the show with gender and religion scholar Laura Levitt. You’ll hear her story of rape, and while not graphic, please be forewarned. She hopes more federal attention is paid to unprocessed rape kits.
In 1989, Laura Levitt was raped in her own bed. Her landlord heard the assault taking place and called 9-1-1, but the police arrived too late to apprehend Levitt’s attacker. When they left, investigators took items with them — a pair of sweatpants and more. A rape exam was performed at the hospital, however, this evidence was never processed. Decades later, Levitt returns to these objects. Viewing them not as clues that will lead to the identification of her assailant, but rather as a means of engaging traumatic legacies writ large.
Her latest book, The Objects That Remain, is equal parts personal memoir and an examination of the ways in which the material remains of violent crimes inform our experience of, and thinking about, trauma and loss. She considers artifacts in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and evidence in police storage facilities across the country. Levitt is a professor of Religion, Jewish Studies, and Gender at Temple University.
That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Tina Renick for production assistance. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock. Our theme music is Glow in the Dark by Kevin Bartlett. Follow us on Twitter @51PercentRadio This week’s show is #1645.
Photo courtesy of Penn State Press.