History Department Seminar: "How are States Violent?"


Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


Robinson Hall, Lower Library, 35 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA

Department of History Seminar

 How Are States Violent?

 We take it for granted that states are or can be violent. To ask how are states violent highlights the instrumentalities of violence and coercion. The variation in these instrumentalities, in turn, opens up new questions. What is the quantum of violence? How do we recognize or measure it across domains of practice and across time? Are the forms of violence characteristic of states transitive. Like a billiard ball, does a violent act impart its motion to another in a theoretically endless chain? How do states learn to be violent? What happens when the state loses control over violence? If all human societies are violent in their own ways, is there a dark logic that explains this violence? 

 Join us for a conversation about states and violence featuring: 

Emmanuel Akyeampong, Department of History

Elizabeth Hinton, Department of History

David Howell, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations

Moderator: Mary D. Lewis, Department of History

Light refreshments available

See also: History Events