Re-Cognizing Harassment with the Arts


  • Timothy Babulski University of Minnesota, Twin Cities



Absent mechanisms of restorative justice, victims of sexual harassment, particularly those within the LGBT+ community that are already frequent targets of relational aggression, are unlikely to either report or reckon with the consequences of inappropriate workplace behaviors and discrimination. Written from the perspective of a masculinized bisexual whose encounter with a pervasive culture of sexual harassment and psychological abuse provoked suicidal ideation, this paper employs the artistic practices of illustration as a means of first re-cognizing and recognizing phenomena, a Ricœurean construct of narrative and a palimpsest of multivocal text and images to evoke the lived experience of harassment and an analytic layer to invoke the phenomenon. By drawing, writing, and thinking through the phenomenon, the marriage of artistic and phenomenological approaches allows both researcher and reader to confront the ‘painful truths’ that otherwise resist easy analysis.