Writing (about) violence is a working group at the University of Bristol. It seeks to forge a discourse on how to ethically and practically write (about) violence. The group meets on a fortnightly basis and each session sees either a presentation by group members on related content or guest academics, who come to speak on the topic and discuss their work. Group members are situated in diverse areas of the university, which enriches conversation on the issues.

Below is a list of the main participants of the working group, and a brief explanation of our research interests. All contributors are lecturers or PhD students at the University of Bristol:

Dr Ann Laudati, Lecturer in Human-Environment Relations, School of Geographical Sciences

Amber Phillips, School of Modern Languages – Italian

Textual representations of the Calabrian mafia (the ‘ndrangheta), looking at the ways in which the organisation is represented in novels, short stories, journalism, and memoirs, from 1955 to the present day. Some of my particular areas of interest include the repeated ‘discovery’ of the organisation’s existence by the national media, and the way in which the brutal and violent true nature of the ‘ndrangheta is concealed (either deliberately or through misconceptions) and confused with regional myth and folklore.

Casandra Jones, School for Policy Studies

Men’s domestic violence victimisation experiences.  While this group of men generally understood women’s victimisation experiences, some of theirs were quite different from women, thus challenging what many academics and service providers consider to be domestic violence.

Charles Agboeze, School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies

Multicultural issues, social inequalities and peacebuilding and conflict resolutions. My research project focuses on the reduction of ethno-religious violence through mediation, especially in Nigeria.

Dr Connor Doak, Lecturer in Russian, School of Modern Languages – Russian

Gender in Russian culture, with a special interest in how war and revolution reshape masculinity in the nineteenth and twentieth century.

Dana Lungu, School of Modern Languages – French

The female character in the 17th century French Tragedy from the perspective of domestic violence, especially the figures of Medea and Clytemnestra. I am particulary interested in the image of the female perpetrator commiting crimes related to the domestic violence context (infanticide, parricide etc) and also in the domestic violence context itself. I will be going into legal and phsychological aspects of domestic violence.

Doreen Pastor, School of Modern Languages – German

Visitors at “challenging” historic sites, in particular concentration camps and former GDR prisons in Germany. I am hoping to establish what motivates people to visit these places, what are their expectations and how do they engage with the exhibition. I’m also very interested in people’s emotions during these visits.

Goya Wilson, Graduate School of Education

A narrative inquiry into writing testimonio with a group of young people whose parents were involved in one of the armed groups (MRTA) during the Peruvian internal war (1980-2000). I’m interested in the process of producing testimonial writings as part of collective memory-work for people whose lives have been marked by state repression and their parent’s clandestine lives. How was/is it to grow up in a country were your parents are defined as “terrorists”? I look at how their narratives change over a 5-year period in 2 different countries. I focus on the politics and poetics of breaking silences for second generation memory-work in a context of state and societal repression which has led me to “troubling” testimonio.

Harry Bregazzi, School of Geography

Situated within the recently emerging ‘geographies of peace’, which seeks greater understanding of the meaning of peace and how ‘it’ operates, socially and spatially. Inextricably linked are issues of violence. War and peace are not discreet opposites, but exist together on a spectrum. I hope to be able to carry out fieldwork in South Sudan, to gain a perspective on how peaceful relations are (or aren’t) constituted through different socio-spatial contexts.

Laurine Groux-Moreau, Department of Religion & Theology – Deaf Studies

Within the realm of Deaf Studies.This involves violence if we consider the way Deaf people are and have been treated and considered by society (which involves both psychological and physical violence). I am interested in how this violence is expressed within writings on and for Deaf people. I look at a 19th century Deaf Church.

Maria Teresa Pinto, School of Sociology, Politics & International Studies

Intellectuals and peace processes in Colombia, academic production over war.

Samuel Rogers, School of Sociology, Politics & International Studies

Relationship between the State and Russian Multinational Oil and Gas Companies (OGMNCs) against the backdrop of the Global Recession (GR) (2007-2012). The research aims to critically analyse theories of capital accumulation and movements and investigate empirical data in order to test these theories. It will investigate the correlation between increased OGMNC revenues during the GR and increases in economic crisis in States in which they are active. My project is connected to violence as it explores politics at the sub-state level. This means, there is activity concerning very large firms who (may) act in a way to undermine democratic procedures (elections, elected bodies etc.) in order to increase accumulation. The research hopes to engage and examine the possibilities that the non-democratic nature of certain transactions brings about increased economic woe for sections of certain populations.

Steve Hill, School of Sociology, Politics & International Studies

Radicalisation of students: Fact or fiction? My research will look at convicts of the Terrorism Act 2000 (UK legislation) who had, at some point prior to conviction, been a student at a UK university or higher education institution. I will be trying to ascertain if these individuals were radicalised during their time as a student. I’m interested in the practical, methodological and ethical implications of conducting my research with prisoners and former prisoners where I may be seen as the ‘other’. I am also interested, from an academic and personal security perspective in my well being when undertaking such research.


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