The Histories of Violence Project

Using Digital Media to Resist Global Violence: The Histories of Violence Website

“Our response [to 9/11] represents nothing short of a profound failure of the political and philosophical imagination.” – Dr. Brad Evans, Ten Years of Terror

In our post-9/11 age, the dominant media continue to dangerously desensitize citizens from the violence inherent in the brutal conflicts of this wartime, thus discouraging them from calling for an end to violence. Acting as an alternative form of widely accessible media, the Histories of Violence website created by Brad Evans (University of Leeds) emerges at this time as an important space of intellectual resistance to violence and to its seeming inevitability.

Histories of Violence uses gripping and informative scholarly lectures, films, art, theatre, literature, and the theories and biographies of some of the most influential scholars of violence to succinctly unravel the “theoretical, empirical, and aesthetic dimensions of violence” with the goal of moving towards more ethical and peaceful ways of being. By publicly holding a magnifying glass to the problem of violence and examining it with much-needed cross-disciplinary criticality, the site brings its browsers into this discourse while teaching them the critical skills, knowledge, and myriad of mediums they can implement to navigate it discerningly.

One of the exciting features currently on this website is the intellectually stunning and timely film, Ten Years of Terror, which can be found under “Special Series”. This film asks important scholars like Noam Chomsky and Zygmunt Bauman to critically reflect upon the violent responses to 9/11, providing viewers with illuminating perspectives on the histories of violence, the impacts of 9/11 and the War on Terror, and the possibilities of non-violent futures.

Through its dedication to explaining, analyzing, and reflecting upon the modes, forms, and legitimations of violence using an internationally accessible format, Histories of Violence plays a crucial role in engaging the critical capacities of the global citizenry so that we can all recognize the brutality of violence and so participate in resisting it and in creating more peaceful ways of being. As Brad Evans wisely asserts in Ten Years of Terror, we need a new political imaginary focused on “ethical ways of thinking about living together in a radically inter-connected world”. By critically engaging the global populace in the problem of violence and in the creation of non-violent futures, Histories of Violence is playing a key role in developing this new consciousness.

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