The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


This course will explore the social and cultural origins of violence in the modern world. It will employ a comparative perspective that studies violence in both Western and non-Western societies. Ethnographic and historical examples will be used to explore the function of violence in various specific social and cultural contexts. A major focus will be the emergence of particular cultures of violence, that is, the systems of meaning that create, emerge out of and underpin forms of violence. Specific topics covered will vary from year to year.


Not currently offered.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Become familiar with a wide variety of contemporary theories employed in the arts and humanities to study social conflict

2. Ddevelop writing skills in students, which includes the ability to clearly present arguments and criticisms.


  1. Theories of how violence operates.
  2. Theories of the social and cultural contexts that generate and sustain violence.
  3. Classic ethnographic studies on the functions of violence and genocide.
  4. Contemporary ethnographic studies of violence and its relationship to modernity.
  5. Cultures of violence.

Assumed knowledge

40 units of study at 1000 level.

Assessment items

Essay: Essay 1

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Tutorial paper

Essay: Essay 2