Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Histories of Violence: 9/11 Ten Years On

19 August 2011 |

Histories of Violence: 9/11 Ten Years On

Dr Brad Evans, Lecturer in Political Violence has launched his Ten Years of Terror symposia through The Guardian’s Comment Is Free news source.

This project which brings together the world’s preeminent thinkers on politics, arts and culture, will also be exhibited at a number of high profile venues during September, including the Guggenheim in New York (to be confirmed); the exhibition hall at Pace University (downtown Manhattan); along with a three week digital installation at the Leeds Art Gallery.

The project will also be exhibited in The Hague next spring. Notable contributors include Noam Chomsky (MIT), Simon Critchley (The New School), Saskia Sassen (Columbia), Avital Ronell (NYU), Michael Shapiro (University of Hawaii), Mary Kaldor (LSE) and Tom McCarthy (Internationally renowned author).

This coincides with the launch of Dr Evans’ wider research project, ‘Histories of Violence’, which provides an open access resource centre which critically explores the wider problematic of violence in the context of theory, film, art, literature, theatre and personal testimonies.

Dr Evans says: “The idea for this project stemmed from a personal ambition to generate forms of research which appealed to a wider audience by moving beyond standard disciplinary focus. It also developed from my teaching experiences, which demanded innovative ways of engaging with students. As an academic versed in the Continental political and philosophical tradition, it seemed self evident that to truly capture the imagination of people – especially about those fundamental problems which affect our lives - it must be done in an intellectually stimulating way that is both accessible and inspiring.

What I have found particularly rewarding about this project has been the level of support it has received. From the initial backing of the University who invested in the project at its embryonic stage, to the involvement of internationally renowned intellectuals, artists and writers, onto gaining wider organisational interest, it does seem to have struck a precise and timely chord. Launching the site to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks was undoubtedly an important factor in the project’s initial success. Maybe the project’s wider appeal stems from the stated ambition to provide an innovative digital forum which is of the highest intellectual and creative calibre

Traditional methods of teaching alone no longer appeal to the digital generation. Not to say that we should simply do away with books and other standard formats, but that through technology it is possible to enhance the learning experience in complimentary and rigorous ways. It is also clear that as an academic, gone are the days when you could find refuge in some esoteric ivory tower. Your research and ideas have to engage with the world. That does not mean to say that having “Impact” is simply about influencing policy makers. Truer to the idea of the University in the original sense of the term, it is about encouraging people to think critically, while having the confidence to raise difficult questions that sometimes unsettle the orthodox narratives. Violence is certainly a problem which demands new critical thinking.”

The Ten Years of Terror symposia is part of the wider ongoing Histories of Violence project which examines the theoretical, empirical and aesthetic dimensions to violence, including the impact of the 9/11 and 7/7 terror attacks on our understanding of security, war, and violence. It also provides an online resource hub including a range of short films, interviews, lectures, online exhibitions and articles.

Ten Years of Terror is launched on 1/11/11 at the Guardian's Comment Is Free website at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree

 

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