Wellcome Trust funded seminar series

Researching Representations of Child Sexual Abuse in Contemporary Culture


Covid-19 Update

The seminars scheduled for March and April had to be postponed due to Covid-19. They were to include talks by scholars of history, sociology, social work and psychology on their research on CSA, by scholars of narrative medicine and creative media effects on how cultural representations of CSA affect audiences, and by health practitioners who work with survivors on how cultural representations of CSA affect their work. The current plan for completing this work is to repurpose the seminar series into a 2-day workshop bringing the remaining speakers together to share their research and discuss the best approaches for exploring this important, neglected theme in contemporary cultural production. The workshop will include a new strand to facilitate discussion of the experiences of survivors under the Covid-19 lockdowns, and the related area of abduction/‘bunker’ narratives. Updates will be posted here or contact Ailise Bulfin.

Feb 4th

Project launch: CSA witness seminar with Hazel Larkin & Lavinia Kerwick: Survivors’ perspectives. 1-2.30pm, room K114

Feb 13th

Representations of CSA in literature: Miles Leeson & Deirdre Sullivan. 4.30-6pm, room C216

Feb 27th

Representations of CSA in drama & film: Ruth BartonEmilie Pine & Neha Kamrani. 4.00-5.30pm, room C216

Mar 26th

Representations of CSA and narrative medicine: Rosaleen McElvaneyEmily Troscianko and Clare Hayes-Brady. 4.30-6pm, room C216

April 2nd

Representations of CSA and social studies: Joe Mooney & Marie Keenan. 4.30-6pm, room C216

April 7th

Representations of CSA: Audience Responses, film & psychology: Xavier Aldana Reyes & Brendan Rooney. 4.30-6pm, room TBA.

April 21st

Representations of CSA: sociology and history: Claire Cunnington & Lindsey Earner-Byrne. 5-6.30pm, room TBA.

April 30

Representations of CSA: psychology and practitioners’ perspectives: Leanne Gregory, Maeve Lewis, Simon McCarthy-Jones and Shaakya Vembar. 4.30-6pm, room C216. 

The seminars run from February to April in the Newman Building, UCD. Organiser contact: ailise.bulfin@ucd.ie


This interdisciplinary Wellcome Trust-funded seminar series explores how child sexual abuse is represented in contemporary culture in works like novels, films and TV series, and seeks to understand how these representations affect both survivors and general audiences. It opens with a witness seminar by survivors of sexual violence giving their perspectives on how culture supports sexual violence. It features talks by cultural scholars who work on representations of child sexual abuse in literature, drama and film. It includes the perspectives of scholars from other disciplines, such as history, sociology, social work and psychology, who research child sexual abuse. And it also features talks by scholars of narrative medicine and creative media effects, and by health practitioners who work with survivors of abuse.