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Background photo courtesy of Wasitthee Chaiyakan

Violence in History

H214 Violence in History (1 term undergraduate course, 2017)


Violence in general and war in particular are often understood from a Western perspective. War is seen to conflict with the ideals of the Enlightenment, to be structured in the way proposed by Clausewitz, and yet to be an important part of the politics of the home and the nation. From a broader, global perspective, however, war has come to encompass a great many things that have nothing or little to do with this evaluation. Different societies and cultures manifest and experience war and violence in many ways. Far from the negative value often attached to war in the post-Enlightenment West, war is sometimes viewed as having a positive role in society. This module therefore seeks to understand war and violence from a non- Western perspective -- to understand how they emerge from particular historical circumstances and how they produce different consequences in different periods and geographical, cultural, ethnic, and even religious contexts. A student successfully completing this module will have learned how to distinguish between popular representations of war and violence and their historical realities. In doing so, they will also have learned why the history of violence, its material consequences, and the construction of this experience manifest themselves differently in non-western societies than they do in the West. Students will learn how to develop historical questions regarding representations of war and violence in popular media or scholarly literature, to use the library and other research tools (electronic databases and existing bibliographies for example) to develop a short bibliography of their own, and to write a research-based essay. They will also take an exam on the topics covered by the course. A student taking this course will be exposed to a wide array of representations of warfare, violence, and their consequences, some of which may be difficult to watch or read. Prospective students should consider this when electing to take this course.



1 -  Memory , 2 -  Violence and War 3 - Just and UnJust Wars  4 - Shaping the Warrior  5 -  Photography  6 -  Resistance in the Age of Expansion  7 -  Armed Modernity  8 -  Internecine Conflict  9 -  State and Extra-State Warfare 10-  Aftermath of Violence