I have been away for a few days, attending the 10th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA, 2011) in Geneva. I will post on this topic next week (I hope!). While I was away, the website for the Histories of Violence project at the university of Leeds went live. This is a trans-disciplinary, multi media project, dedicated to addressing the theoretical, empirical and aesthetic dimensions to violence, and particularly political violence. There are sections on different approaches to these issues, such as art, film, theatre, literature. However, what most interests me here is the section on theory.
This section features key-note lectures by key thinkers on key thinkers, and includes short biographies, along with selected bibliographies. The list of contributors here includes:
- Hannah Arendt (Professor Kimberley Hutchings, LSE)
- Zygmunt Bauman (Professor Keith Tester, University of Hull)
- Judith Butler (Dr. Jelke Boesten, University of Leeds)
- Jacques Derrida (Professor Gregg Lambert, Syracuse University)
- Frantz Fanon (Professor Lewis Gordon, Temple University)
- Michel Foucault (Emeritus Professor Michael Dillon, Lancaster University)
- Niccolo Machiavelli (Dr. Elizabeth Frazer, Oxford University)
- Friedrich Nietzsche (Professor Julian Reid, University of Lapland)
- Paul Virilio (Dr. Mark Lacy, Lancaster University)
- Slavoj Žižek (Dr. Paul Taylor, University of Leeds)
In addition, in the symposia section, there are reflective lectures on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 by a diverse range of thinkers, including Bauman, Chomski, Sassen, Kalder, Honderich, Hardt, to name a few. These individuals were asked by director Brad Evens, and Simon Critchley to critically reflect on the “ten years of terror” which that fateful day engendered. Their aim in this was not to “establish the “definitive truth” about the initial or subsequent events. Neither have we been content to accept the conventional narratives which tend to receive widespread media attention. Our focus instead has been to re-open the field of discussion so that we may evaluate the impact 9/11 has had on all aspects of life, while in the process offer new critical thinking on a problem that still continues to plague and suffocate the political landscape of the 21st Century”. The result are both fascinating and stimulating at the same time. Their efforts represent the future of academic discussion and show how the dissemination of research should be conducted in the 21st century. Lots of stuff here-enjoy!