Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Tainted WitnessWhy We Doubt What Women Say About Their Lives$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Leigh Gilmore

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780231177146

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231177146.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Tainted Witness in Law and Literature

Tainted Witness in Law and Literature

Nafissatou Diallo and Jamaica Kincaid

Chapter:
(p.133) 5 Tainted Witness in Law and Literature
Source:
Tainted Witness
Author(s):

Leigh Gilmore

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231177146.003.0006

Chapter five examines two examples of unsympathetic women witnesses and the transits of their testimony across an assemblage of legal and literary modes of judgment: 1) the rape case brought by Nafissatou Diallo against former head of the International Monetary Fund and former French presidential hopeful Dominique Strauss-Kahn as Diallo and her testimony travelled from criminal court, through the court of public opinion, to civil court in search of an adequate witness and 2) the autobiographical fiction of Jamaica Kincaid, who offers a literary witness in contrast to the sympathetic, pure, young victims featured in humanitarian campaigns. The chapter argues that the dynamics of witness tainting previously analyzed make it imperative that we adopt an ethical response that is not primarily grounded in identification or compassion. The chapter concludes by arguing that sympathy fails to provide an adequate ground for ethical witnessing and that we must learn to engage with the unsympathetic woman witness.

Keywords:   Literary Witness, Unsympathetic Witness, Ethics, Jamaica Kincaid, Nafissatou Diallo, Rape Trial

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .