Histories of Violence

Module code: HS2236

Over the course of this module you’ll be examining the role violence plays and played in human history, using two case studies, one of which will focus on Nazism. You’ll examine a variety of forms violence took in history, both collectively as well as individually.

The case studies you’ll be examining range from political terror, legally sanctioned (and often brutal) suppression of organised labour, crimes against and by individuals to large scale massacres. The module will also draw from other disciplines including sociology, law, literature and linguistics. The historical context of each case study will be examined, and you’ll reflect upon the societal meaning of violence within these contexts.

Throughout this module you’ll familiarise yourself with a number of theories and models on violence and human civilisation. You’ll develop a sense of how identity and otherness was created, how state and popular power were exercised, and how structures of resistance were played out.


  • 30 hours of seminars
  • 5 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 115 hours of guided independent study


  • Essay (30%)
  • Essay (70%)