Kristin Bumiller

September 18, 2009

Kristin Bumiller, professor of political science and women’s and gender studies, has won the 2009 Victoria Shuck Award for her book In an Abusive State: How Neoliberalism Appropriated the Feminist Movement Against Sexual Violence (Duke University Press, 2008). The American Political Science Association (APSA) presents the prestigious award each year in recognition of the best book on women and politics.

In an Abusive State examines the ways in which feminist campaigns against sexual assault and domestic abuse have become entangled with the stances and goals of the state. This has lead, the author argues, to policies and practices that are racially biased and harmful to women of low socioeconomic status. Inspired by a “convergence of interests” in issues of gender, race and incarceration, Bumiller’s research included interviewing abused women and sitting in on the Central Park Jogger rape trial of 1990. Joanna Bourke of Britain’s Times Higher Education reviewed In an Abusive State as a Book of the Week, calling it “one of the most invigorating and challenging books I have read for years … a ‘must-read.’”

“It was a complete surprise,” said Bumiller of the Victoria Shuck Award, which she received at APSA’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Toronto in early September.