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CWSS Seminar: Philip Dwyer, 'Violence and its Histories: Meanings, Methods, Problems'

A Centre for the Study of War, State and Society seminar
Date8 November 2017
Time14:00 to 16:00
PlaceForum Seminar Room 01

The Centre is delighted to welcome Professor Philip Dwyer to speak to the title 'Violence and its Histories: Meanings, Methods, Problems'.

Professor Dwyer is Director of the Centre for the History of Violence, at the University of Newcastle Australia, and his primary research interest is eighteenth-century Europe with a particular emphasis on the Napoleonic Empire. He is author of the award-winning Napoleon 1769-1799: The Path to Power (2008).


Violence has evolved over the past few decades into one of the leading interpretive concepts in history. And yet there a few critiques of it to speak of, and no clear-cut methodology on how to do the history of violence. This paper takes a more critical view of violence as a field of historical research by questioning some of the approaches and methods adopted until now. It examines some meanings of violence and the difficulties involved in defining it, discusses some of the trends that have emerged out of the history of violence, and offers some suggestions about how to approach the topic from a different perspective. It argues for a cultural constructed interpretation of violence that not only involves understanding behaviors, but also narratives and discourses of violence that help both define and shape people’s attitudes.

Intended audienceAll welcome.
Registration informationNo registration required.
OrganizerDr Gemma Clark

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