The Perpetrator Self: Violence, Gender and Emotion in Conflict
and Culture in the Long Twentieth Century
Last updated on 6/13/2016 Print this page
17th and 18th September 2015 at University of Hull
Generously supported by University of Hull, German
History Society and Technische Universität Dresden, Department of
History, Chair of Modern History.
For all enquiries contact Clare Bielby.
With its focus on the violent perpetrator self in the long
twentieth century, this two-day interdisciplinary conference marks
the seventieth anniversary of the end of World War Two by casting
new light on the neglected field of violent perpetrator
subjectivity. It takes place at the Wilberforce Institute for the
study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) in Hull, the second most
heavily destroyed city after London during World War Two.
There are important ethical reasons why the violent perpetrator
self is a relatively neglected category, both in scholarly
discourse and in museum practice, the concern being that a too
narrow concentration on the subjectivity of the perpetrator would
take the focus away from that of the victims of violence. And yet,
it is surely through understanding how and why individuals
perpetrate acts of violence – and thus how violence might inform a
sense of self and self-worth – that we can start to develop
strategies for dealing with violence. What are the positive and
negative emotions/affects that violence is bound up with? How does
the perpetrator self legitimise violence? What does violence do for
both the individual and collective self? It is to these questions
and more that this conference, and the broader series of events to
which we intend it will lead, are addressed.