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PUBLIC LECTURE | Picturing Atrocity Across the Ages - and Why it Matters Today



Start Date

3 Aug 2016 5:15 pm

End Date

3 Aug 2016 6:15 pm

Institute for the Study of Social Change logo

Public lecture presented by

Professor Simon Cottle, Cardiff University

This research presentation reports on work in progress and is part of a more encompassing research program exploring the history of communications and violence. Here we are interested in exploring the changing historical registers and shifting sentiments evident within depictions of atrocity across the ages. We are interested not only in the immediate power plays and political uses that representations of atrocity are put to in struggles for legitimation and change but also the ways in which they register considerably longer-term historical and developmental processes in human society. These historical antecedents and dynamics can tell us much about the nature of contemporary representations and how these may yet inform the conduct and pursuit of humanitarian, human rights and human security approaches to atrocity in a globalizing and increasingly mediated world. As a way of securing empirical purchase on this subject and throwing changing historical registers and shifting sentiments into sharp relief we deliberately focus on one depicted atrocity in particular, a scene represented many times in Western art from the 10th to the 21st centuries: 'Massacre of the Innocents.' By examining 101 paintings over this period our analysis begins to recover and discern wider trends in how depictions of atrocity have changed over time and what this can tell us about how they now register within wider, globalizing society.

Simon Cottle is Professor of Media and Communications at theSchool of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies (JOMEC) at Cardiff University where he was formerly Deputy and then Head of School (2008 -2015). Previously he was Inaugural Chair and Director of the Media and Communications Program at the University of Melbourne. He is currently Director of a new Research Group at Cardiff: 'Communications, Human Security and Atrocity in Global Context.' Simon is the author of many books on media, globalization and the communication of conflicts, crises and catastrophes. Most recently these include Mediatized Conflicts (2006), Global Crisis Reporting (2009), Transnational Protests and the Media (Ed. with L. Lester)(2011), Disasters and the Media (with M. Pantti and K. Wahl-Jorgensen) (2012), Humanitarianism, Communications and Change (Ed. with G. Cooper)(2015) and Reporting Dangerously: Journalist Killings, Intimidation and Security (with R. Sambrook and N. Mosdell)(2016). He series edits the Global Crises and Media Series for Peter Lang publishing. Currently he is thinking about the history of violence and communications and the possible leverage that global communications can help secure in contexts of human insecurity and imminent atrocity.

Wednesday 3 August, 5.00pm to 6.00pm

Law 132 Seminar Room, Faculty of Law Building, Sandy Bay Campus
(this room is on the very ground floor, take the internal stairs right to the bottom of the building)

Dr Louise Grimmer, Institute for the Study of Social Change, University of Tasmania

This is a free public lecture and everyone is welcome to attend.

Event Flyer (PDF 419KB)


Institute for Social Change
University of Tasmania
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