The Centre for the History of Violence has evolved to become a more multidisciplinary group that incorporates different approaches to the study of violence. As a result, and in order to reflect that change, we are now calling ourselves the Centre for the Study of Violence (CSoV). Our members are from a number of disciplines, including history, criminology, sociology, law, social work, as well as health and medicine. Our aim is to advance humanity's understanding of violence, not only in the present, but through time. Members of the Centre explore every aspect of violence, including concepts of violence, issues of political and cultural violence, representations of violence, questions of interpersonal violence, trauma and the aftermaths of violence, sexual assault, domestic abuse, homicide and filicide.

Researchers at the CSoV are focused on the origins, causes, and experience of violence throughout history and the present day. In this way we 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.

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

Name.Narrate.Navigate (NNN) A program for youth violence.

Name.Narrate.Navigate (NNN) A program for youth violence.

Commencing in 2018 with support from the Department of Social Services, Community Grants Hub, the Name.Narrate.Navigate (NNN) program was developed with, and for, the community to address the significant, yet under-serviced issue of youth-perpetrated violence and an associated lack of specialist training for service providers.

Our researchers

The School of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Newcastle is home to one of the leading centres in the world for the study of violence. Our expertise ranges from ancient times to the present and covers many parts of the globe. We have particularly strong interests in the study of history, trauma, inter-personal violence (including youth violence and sexual abuse), criminology and law.

Colleagues teach undergraduate courses in the history of violence, the history of crime, criminology, social work, and sociology. These courses can lead towards a minor in Violence Studies. We particularly welcome MA and PhD candidates specializing in the field.

CSOV members

Centre for the Study 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 Study of Violence – part of the Faculty of Education and Arts – has an annual program of lectures, seminars, visiting fellows, and conferences on every aspect of the study of 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. 'Sexual Harms and Medical Encounters' (SHaME) is a current research project with Birkbeck that explores the role of medicine and psychiatry in sexual violence.

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'.

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.