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  3. A History of Violence

A History of Violence (HIST30068)

Undergraduate level 3Points: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 3
Subject codeHIST30068
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

Every act of violence has a history. In order to more fully understand how and why violence recurs, how it has changed over time, and how it has been a driving force in history, we need to develop a more sophisticated and complex understanding of its historical origins. This subject will explore the manner in which violence has been used by individuals, communities and the state over time, as well as the way in which that use has been perceived and portrayed in the modern world, from the sixteenth century to the present. It will be organised around four key themes: war, bodies, othering and contact zones. The power and practice of violence will be explored through the origins, causes, and experience of violence through changing technologies, media representations, acts and legal frameworks, and lived experience of violence at an individual and community level. From Hiroshima to the Holocaust, from Aztec rituals to witchcraft trials: how is violence embedded in and representative of societies through time, and how do we understand this comparatively as historians? We will analyse the legacies and aftermaths of violence, exploring how it is remembered and how it is forgotten. A violent act is never erased; it continues to resonate and has an impact on contemporary society in ways that we do not always fully comprehend.

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the types of violence that has occurred in the past; how it has been represented and remembered;
  • demonstrate a critical understanding of how scholars have theorised violence;
  • understand and reflect upon theoretical and methodological issues involved with writing a history of violence; and
  • improve research and interpretative skills by developing a research project which is theoretically informed.

Generic skills

Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:

  • think critically and analyse material and determine the strength of an argument through completing recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion;
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • demonstrate an understanding of social, ethical and cultural contexts through the contextualisation of judgments, and also being open to new ideas and possibilities and expressing responses to them by constructing an argument;
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion; and
  • demonstrate attention to detail, time management and planning through organising their workload and completing assessment tasks.

Last updated: 11 October 2019