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Research activity

Violence: 1798-1918


The research seminar will explore the subject of violence from 1789 to 1918. This seminar will be interdisciplinary in its approach; it will embrace methods and questions raised by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists in their studies of the different forms, expressions, and representations of violence---individual, collective, physical, verbal, and symbolic.

Such an inquiry will examine the role of crowds, strikes, massacres,  and wars and revolutions to understand better the multiple forms of violence, their causes and consequences. Moreover, the diverse responses to violence whether judicial or political, repressive or clement will be considered by an analysis of criminal and military justice as well as by reflections on the themes of the pardon, grace, and amnesty. The different periods of history covered by our seminar witnessed not only multiple manifestations of violence, but saw these manifestations depicted and represented in literature, the press, and art---domains that have significantly contributed to a fuller understanding of the perception and reality of violence.  The question of memory, too, is at the center of our investigation whether it involves wars, particularly civil wars, or revolutions. And the different ways and proposals for ending violence will be studied as well---though regrettably no satisfactory solution to this vexed problem was forthcoming during the period from 1789 to 1918.

This seminar reflects our vision of violence as a multifaceted phenomenon best understood in the broad context of social, political and religious history. We hope that our project will raise as many questions as it answers, facilitating a deeper knowledge of the subject of violence, and will thus inform and encourage researchers examining other historical periods in different countries.

The research seminar will explore the subject of violence from 1789 to 1918. This seminar will be interdisciplinary in its approach; it will embrace methods and questions raised by historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and political scientists in their studies of the different forms, expressions, and representations of violence---individual, collective, physical, verbal, and symbolic.

Such an inquiry will examine the role of crowds, strikes, massacres,  and wars and revolutions to understand better the multiple forms of violence, their causes and consequences. Moreover, the diverse responses to violence whether judicial or political, repressive or clement will be considered by an analysis of criminal and military justice as well as by reflections on the themes of the pardon, grace, and amnesty. The different periods of history covered by our seminar witnessed not only multiple manifestations of violence, but saw these manifestations depicted and represented in literature, the press, and art---domains that have significantly contributed to a fuller understanding of the perception and reality of violence.  The question of memory, too, is at the center of our investigation whether it involves wars, particularly civil wars, or revolutions. And the different ways and proposals for ending violence will be studied as well---though regrettably no satisfactory solution to this vexed problem was forthcoming during the period from 1789 to 1918.

This seminar reflects our vision of violence as a multifaceted phenomenon best understood in the broad context of social, political and religious history. We hope that our project will raise as many questions as it answers, facilitating a deeper knowledge of the subject of violence, and will thus inform and encourage researchers examining other historical periods in different countries.