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A History of Violence: From the Middle Ages to Modern Times

University of Newcastle via edX

students interested
  • Provider edX
  • $ Cost Free Online Course
  • Session Self Paced
  • Language English
  • Effort 2-3 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 6 weeks long

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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. A 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?

Violence is part and parcel of human history and of human nature. It has been there since the dawn of time and it is, arguably, at the core of what it is to be human. It is the one thing that all cultures and societies, across, time, share in common. It is one of humanity’s most distinctive traits.

This course will look at different theories and approaches to studying human violence beginning with a foray into pre-history, before focusing more fully on the different uses of violence in western history, from the middle ages onwards. Topics include: the origins of violence; gendered violence; homicide; public executions and torture; and colonial violence.

Taught by

Philip Dwyer

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Review for edX's A History of Violence: From the Middle Ages to Modern Times
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Linda S
4.0 4 months ago
by Linda audited this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I took this course because violence is a topic that disturbs me, and I've avoided coming to grips with it throughout my adult life. It accomplished exactly what I had hoped, by helping me understand the many manifestations of violence; why, when, and how it occurred and occurs; and how to come to grips with it. The class is well-designed and regularly reminds students of sources of counseling if they need it. The professor is deeply knowlegeable, although unfortunately, the lectures boil the topic down to such a degree that they can feel incomplete. Some of the other students were clearly know…
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