American Graduate School in Paris Releases First Book

By schwartzsa | December 17, 2010

The research center of the American Graduate School in Paris (AGS), which is affiliated with Arcadia University, released its first book, Crimes Against Women (Nova Publishers, USA), a collective work edited by David Wingeate Pike, with a foreword by Bangladeshi author and human rights advocate Taslima Nasrin.

Crimes Against Women presents a survey of acts of violence, past and present, that women throughout the world have endured, and it calls upon governments as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations to address this issue. The book is organized around a threefold focus, examining gender-related crimes rooted in concept and law; those deriving from religion, customs and traditions; and those perpetrated in times of conflict. The 28 articles take a broad variety of approaches, ranging from the philosophical and legalistic to the narrative reporting of contributors working in the field.

The book marks the first published project of the research center of the AGS, which focuses on International Conflict/Crime and subsequent governmental action. The center is co-directed by David Pike—who edited the book and wrote the preface, introduction and the chapter on Imperial Japan and its ‘Comfort Women’—and Eileen Servidio, who initiated the project and wrote the chapter “Sexual Violence Against Women and Girls in Armed Conflict: Legal Aspects.”

Pike received doctorates from the University of Toulouse in France, and Stanford University, where he taught Latin American political culture. He has written a dozen books on contemporary history, covering Latin America in the 1970s and Europe in the Stalin-Hitler-Franco periods. He is Professor at AGS, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at American University of Paris, Sociétaire des Gens de Lettres de France, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Servidio is the Chair of International Law and President of the School of International Relations at AGS. She is a specialist of International Criminal Law and International Public Law. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Paris II– Assas in France and has published extensively on issues related to international crime, extradition laws and human and civil rights.

Nasrin, who authored the forward, has fought for the past two decades against the oppression of women in the traditions, religions, customs and cultures of Bangladesh and other countries. A medical doctor by training, she has written a dozen books of poetry, novels, essays and memoirs. She had to flee from Bangladesh in 1994 and, since then, has lived in exile, defending human rights and women’s rights through her writings and public speeches. She has received numerous awards and prizes including the Ananda Literary Award in India, the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament, the Human Rights Award from the Government of France, and Unesco’s Madanjeet Singh Prize for the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.

The other contributors to the book are very diverse in their origins and experiences; they range in profession from academics, diplomats and lawyers to journalists, artists and leaders of non-governmental organizations. In addition to the contributions of Servidio and Pike, contributors include two other  faculty members of the AGS: Sir Christopher MacRae wrote Forced Marriage as a Foreign Policy Issue in the United Kingdom, and Professor Ruchi Anand wrote the chapters “The Human Rights Design: A Critique of ‘Universality’ in a Patriarchal World” and “Dowries in India.” The painting on the cover of the book was done by the British figurative painter Charlotte Lyon.