Violence Studies Conference 2012

The Humanities Research Institute and the Centre for the History of Violence at the University of Newcastle held its inaugural Violence Studies Conference at the Crowne Plaza, from 21 to 24 August, organised by Professors Philip Dwyer and Professor Lyndall Ryan.

The conference addressed a range of ideas relating to the history of violence and attracted more than 70 participants from around the world. The topics ranged from contemporary issues such as violence in indigenous communities – past and present – ;to portrayals of violence in film, art and literature, to the history of massacres (the massacre at the Munich Olympics in 1972, and the 1965 massacres of Communists in Indonesia form two panels).

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, Chancellor of the Australian National University, opened the proceedings on Monday 21 August with a free public lecture at the Crowne Plaza titled Ending Deadly Conflict: Dream or Delusion?

Keynote Address

Ending Deadly Conflict: Dream or Delusion?

Video: Ending Deadly Conflict: Dream or Delusion?

Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC, gave the keynote address at the Violence Studies Conference on 20th August at Crowne Plaza Newcastle.

The Centre for the History of Violence is the first research centre in the world that systematically examines the history and nature of violence. Its objective is to understand the evolving nature of violence and its significance in the world today. The topic of Violence is vast, and is not simply about the physical act of violence, although that occupies an important part of what we do. It can also consist of psychological violence – fear, shame, gossiping, abuse, interracial violence as well as the aftermath of violence – how people remember traumatic violent events, or indeed how they forget them.

This conference brought together people from around Australia and the world, from many different disciplines, so that they could exchange ideas on the causes and consequences of violence, as well as people's changing attitudes towards violence and the physical act of violence. One can be a perpetrator, or a bystander, one can approve of disapprove of violence, one can be disgusted by it as well as titillated by it (think of the vogue in shlock horror films).

This conference was the first of many such conversations that the Centre will organise. In future, they will be run around specific themes.