Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


John Gaventa describes his investigation into the lives of Appalachian coal miners as an “account of the local injustices,” (Gaventa 1980 v.). The same can be said for this investigation into the Vanderbilt Rape Trial. Similar to the accounts of Central Appalachia, an act of “local injustice” occurred on the campus of Vanderbilt University in the summer of 2013. The realities of the high profile Vanderbilt Rape case are compared and applied to the framework of power Gaventa specifies in Power and Powerlessness. The parallels between both cases are undeniable and ultimately serve one purpose for their comparison. Like Gaventa, the efforts in this paper are simply written, “to develop a more adequate explanation for what I had seen,” (Gaventa 1980, vi).