University of Newcastle Australia program

The History of Violence

This program, HIST3006, introduces students to various scholarly theories, frameworks, and perspectives on the history of violence

This program is part of the Bachelor of Arts degree offered by The University of Newcastle Australia

Develop an understanding of the history of violence, analysing societal, cultural, and historical causes for violence.

What is violence? What do we mean by it? Is it innate or learned? Are we becoming more or less violent? These are all questions that we will ask throughout this course. The History of Violence will examine the different types of violence that humans have practiced over the centuries, put them into historical context, and try to understand why those different forms of violence are used at particular times, and not others; why some kinds of violence are accepted in some parts of the world but not others? This course will explore aspects of human violence in world history from pre-history to the present. Major topics to be addressed within this overview include: Inter-personal violence; state violence; crime and criminality; sexual violence; religious and ritual violence; warfare; massacre and genocide; theories and thinkers of violence; and representations of violence in film and literature.

We acknowledge the traditional owners upon whose ancestral lands the University of Newcastle campuses stand.


4 courses

The University of Newcastle Australia

The University of Newcastle stands as a global leader in higher education, distinguished by a commitment to equity and excellence. Our degree programs are internationally recognised. Our research is world-class and diverse, and our partnerships and collaborations drive innovation.

UON continues to build its global reputation for being one of the world's most prestigious universities and is consistently in the top 10 Australian universities for research.

  • The University of Newcastle Australia

Who will you learn with?

Philip Dwyer is Professor of History and the founding Director of the Centre for the Study of Violence at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Identify key issues in the history of violence.

  2. Develop an understanding of the different theories and approaches to the study of the history of violence.

  3. Analyse and reflect upon a variety of historical source materials relevant to the study of violence.

  4. Synthesise primary and secondary source material in oral and written form at an advanced level.

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