The Centre for
Centre for the History of Violence

About us

The Centre for the History of Violence is a world-first collaboration that applies new historical knowledge to advance humanity's understanding of violence. Members of the Centre explore every aspect of the history of violence, including concepts of violence, representations of violence, questions of interpersonal violence and issues of political and cultural violence.

Researchers with the Centre for the History of Violence are focused on the origins, causes, and experience of violence from the 18th century to the present day. In this way they seek to understand the global roots of contemporary violence by examining the connections between the past and the present, and the range of cultural values and perceptions that surrounds both patterns of structural violence and individual acts of violence.

UON Global Innovation Chair Professor Joanna Bourke discusses "“Sexual Violence and Medicine: Police Surgeons, Forensic Medical Examiners, and ‘Cultures of Care’ in Twentieth Century Britain."

Our researchers

The University of Newcastle's (UON) History of Violence brings together internationally renowned scholars, post-doctoral fellows, graduates and undergraduates from across the humanities and social sciences – anthropology, art, criminology, film, history, international relations, law, literature, philosophy, psychology, political science and sociology.

CHOV members

Centre for the History of Violence members L to R (back row): ARC Future Fellow Associate Professor Hans-Lukas Kieser, Dr Kate Ariotti, Dr Shigeru Sato, Professor Roger Markwick, and ARC DECRA Fellow Dr Elizabeth Roberts Pedersen. L to R (front row): Professor Catharine Coleborne, Professor Philip Dwyer, Professor Lyndall Ryan, Dr Kathleen McPhillips, and Global Innovation Chair Professor Joanna Bourke.


The Centre for the History of Violence – part of the Faculty of Education and Arts – has an annual program of lectures, seminars and conferences on every aspect of the History of Violence. This includes debates surrounding concepts of violence, to representations of violence in art, literature, and film, questions of interpersonal violence, to issues of political and cultural violence.

International collaboration

The Centre has developed linkages with research leaders and institutions in the field, including the Network for the History of Violence at Warwick University in the UK, the Centre for War Studies at University College Dublin and the History Department at Birkbeck, University of London, positioning the University of Newcastle nationally and internationally as a key hub for the study of violence in an historical context.

Research funding

Since 2011, the Centre has attracted over $3 million of ARC funding, including Australian Research Council funding for 'Massacre and Colonisation', 'Violence on the Australian Colonial Frontier'; Intimacy and Violence in Anglo Pacific Rim Colonial Societies 1830-1930', 'Women, Stalinism and the Soviet Home Front' and 2014 Future Fellowship investigating 'War, Violence, and Apocalyptic- Millenarianism in the Middle East'.