Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


What is violence? What do we mean by it? Is it innate or learned? Are we becoming more or less violent? These are all questions that we will ask throughout this course. A History of Violence will examine the different types of violence that humans have practiced over the centuries, put them into historical context, and try to understand why those different forms of violence are used at particular times, and not others; why some kinds of violence are accepted in some parts of the world but not others? This course will explore aspects of human violence in world history from pre-history to the present. Major topics to be addressed within this overview include: Inter-personal violence; state violence; crime and criminality; sexual violence; religious and ritual violence; warfare; massacre and genocide; theories and thinkers of violence; and representations of violence in film and literature.

Availability2022 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify key issues in the history of violence.

2. Develop an understanding of the different theories and approaches to the study of the history of violence.

3. Analyse and reflect upon a variety of historical source materials relevant to the study of violence.

4. Synthesise primary and secondary source material in oral and written form at an advanced level.


The course examines themes such as the origins of conflict, religion, ritual and violence, intimate and gendered violence, warfare, ethnic, racial and nationalist violence, violence, the State and the justice system, Empire, Revolution, social change, popular protest and resistance, and representations and constructions of violence.

Assumed knowledge

20 units in History at 1000 level or equivalent.

Assessment items

Project: Research Project (30%)

Written Assignment: Book Review (30%)

Quiz: Class Test (20%)

Participation: Tutorial Notes Exercise (20%)

Contact hours



Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks


Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.