Renee Shelby

Posted January 9, 2019

Renee Shelby, a Ph.D. student in the Georgia Institute of Technology School of History and Sociology (HSOC), recently published a journal article in Theoretical Criminology about the US Vitullo® Kit, arguing that the kit emerged as a strategic feminist and positivist criminological intervention.

The article, entitled “Whose rape kit? Stabilizing the Vitullo® Kit through positivist criminology and protocol feminism,” traces the stabilization of the kit from 1973 to 1987, attending to how community advocates embraced technoscientific protocols to intervene in medico-legal evidence collection.

The article fills an important gap in Science and Technology Studies scholarship that has increasingly focused on the rape kit, with scholars critiquing the gendered biases that are enacted through the medico-legal exam and how the kit itself serves as a technoscientific witness of rape. However, little scholarship has focused on the discourses surrounding the early US Vitullo® Kit.

The full article is available here.

Shelby is a sociologist with research experience in gender and crime, technology, and youth violence. She is originally from Lansing, Kansas, and has earned an M.A. in sociology and public health at Georgia State University. In 2012, she was selected as Outstanding Graduate Student and served as an Urban Fellow in the School of Law 2013. Before beginning the HSOC Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech, she taught Social Problems and Introduction to Sociology at Georgia State University.

HSOC is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

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