First annual conference of the Regional Research Center “Transformations of Political Violence” (TraCe): Language(s) of Violence

Language and violence are closely linked: On the one hand, language is a medium for discourse about violence – be it in academic exchanges about terminology and analytical precision or in the public sphere, for example, in the form of fake news or through framing. On the other hand, language can also be violence itself – be it through hate speech or propaganda. The first annual conference of the Regional Research Center “Transformations of Political Violence” (TraCe), entitled “Language(s) of Violence”, will be dedicated to this multi-layered relationship between language and violence from March 1 to 3, 2023 in Frankfurt.


Stathis Kalyvas (University of Oxford) kicks off the conference with his keynote speech “Political Violence: Grand Patterns and Basic Concepts”. The first panel, “The Scientific Language of Violence”, is devoted to the semantic complexity of the scientific concept of political violence and aims to identify changes in its political, normative, and analytical meanings. The second panel, “The Public Semantics of Violence”, will explore the relationships between political violence and public speech acts, discussing different dimensions ranging from framing by social movements to memory culture. The third panel, “Language as Violence”, focuses on how language itself can act as political violence, taking a look at different areas such as hate speech, propaganda, and justification of violence. The roundtable discussion reflects on and wraps up the scientific part of the conference.


Moderated by Christopher Daase and Rebecca Schmidt and in cooperation with the cluster initiative “ConTrust” and Stadtbücherei Frankfurt, its focus lies on the exchange between science and practice. The aim is to shed light on various aspects of the interface between language and violence from a practical perspective. Beyond the scientific sphere, the dialogue panel is aimed in particular at the local public.

A poster of the program is available here: https://www.trace-center.de/fileadmin/DatenTrace/Downloads/02_21_Programm1.pdf

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