Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

Women's and Gender Studies

Committee Member

Margaret Crouch

Committee Member

Ashley Glassburn Falzetti

Committee Member

Elisabeth Däumer


Peace Corps is an international volunteer service organization and an agency of the United States Federal Government. Like all American governmental institutions, Peace Corps has an institutional culture with a heteropatriarchal, settler colonial legacy. In recent years, this has manifested in Peace Corps’ mishandling of cases of sexual violence against Peace Corps Volunteers. The agency has undertaken many reforms in response to public pressure, including changes at the level of language in policy and protocol. This project has two objectives, the first of which is an analysis of Peace Corps discourse on violence, victimhood, and responsibility. This discursive analysis is carried out within two distinct frameworks: a Liberal feminist framework and a Native feminist framework. My second objective is a comparative analysis of these two frameworks, which includes an explanation of why the Native feminist lens provides the more critical reading of the two.