May, 14 – Perceptions of Violence Beyond War and Genocide

Our understanding of what violence actually is has changed considerably during the second half of the 20th century. This shift occurred at a rapid pace: When in the 1960s violence against children and women became a public and political issue in the first place, it was exclusively physical violence. Today, however, psychological and emotional violence […]

May, 7 – «Like a Movie»: Terrorism, Counterterrorism and the Premediation of Violence in the 21st Century

The phrase “like a movie” was used by numerous witnesses on the scene of the 11 September 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Even though the event was historically unprecedented – never before had commercial airliners been turned into missiles and flown into buildings – the image of the burning and collapsing Twin Towers seemed strangely […]

April, 23 – Words like Weapons: Postcolonial African Rap and the Performance of Violence

The lecture will explore ongoing debates about the nature and impact of violent lyrics in rap music. Taking case studies from South Africa, Angola and Burkina Faso, it will discuss the different manifestations of violence which can be found in rap music, and relate the use of violent words, scenarios and performances to the surrounding […]

April, 2 – Violence, Colonialism and Property in Africa (19th – 20th Centuries)

The Paris Peace Conference convened on the 18th of January 1919, two months after the end of the First World War (1914-1918), and set the new legal order of that time. One of the results of the Conference was the establishment of the League of Nations with the aim to prevent war, maintain peace and […]

March, 26 – The empire of the law. Legalization of violence in the European migratory control system

During the last 30 years the European Union has reinforced a racist segregated social structure using immigration laws as the main tool to create a system of persecution, detention, deportation and death of migrant people coming from former colonies. This is the way in which Europe has found the path to reproduce the violence, exploitation […]

March, 19 – Images freighted with all the orphanhood in the world: Contemporary Latin American Artists on Sexual and Gendered Violence

In the last decades, gender-based and sexual violence have gained notoriety within civil society and the international community. In Latin America, an intense activism and struggle for truth and justice has caused interest in women’s human rights violations from various disciplines, including the arts. As I will argue, the works of Latin American women artists who deal […]

March, 12 – «Creating Politics out of Violence»: Amazon Globalization and the Discovery of «Modern Slavery»

By the late 1960s, the Amazon entered a new phase of its integration within global (and unequal) capitalist exchange. The proliferation of large-scale farming projects aiming to transform the rain forest into a major exporter of commodities unleashed a massive deforestation wave. In turn, the rising demand for clearing workforce helped revivify and consolidate local […]

March 5, The Allers-Retours of Contemporary Political Violence

Contemporary political violence has been overwhelming understood through the prism of ‘terrorism’. The post-September 11, 2001 dominant use of that notion has largely empty instances of violence of their social and political context and has furthered a reductionist meta-narrative. This narrative has come to dominate international policy-making, news media, fiction and segments of academe. Central […]