Discourses of Mass Violence in Comparative Perspective
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Lecture Series "Empire and Violence"

at LMU Munich & University of Innsbruck

Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine has recently been related to "the curse of the empire" (Martin Schulze Wessel, Der Fluch des Imperiums: Die Ukraine, Polen und der Irrweg in der russischen Geschichte, München 2023). Imperial thinking, as it developed in Russia since Peter I, prepared, as Schulze Wessel suggests, the path towards imperialist ambitions that still guide Putin's Russia, which has taken many observers in the West by surprise.

Claims to imperial domination seem to have been the motor of countless wars of aggression and acts of mass violence in the longue durée of human history, as seen, for example, in the expansions of the Neo-Assyrian, Roman and European colonial empires. Empires seem to turn violent again in periods of decline when their domination is challenged by geo-political transformations.

While such general tendencies may seem obvious, the contemporary imperial claims of Russia require an in-depth analysis of the relationship between imperial ideologies and acts of mass violence. This challenge is addressed in a transdisciplinary lecture series held at Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and University of Innsbruck, organised in the framework of the research project Discourses of Mass Violence in Comparative Perspective.

kick-off 02 June 2023, 16-20 CET, LMU Munich

lecture series_Empire and Violence_02 June 2023


  • 16-18 José Casanova (Georgetown U), The Sacralization of Canonicity as the Legitimation of Violence
    response: Wolfgang Palaver (Innsbruck U)
  • 18-20 Alexander Etkind (CEU Vienna), The Letter Z and the Problem of Genocide
    response: Riccardo Nicolosi (LMU)

ON SITE: Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1, Kleine Aula: A 120
ONLINE: register via zoom

Upcoming talks

@ LMU:
24 October 2023 18-20 Herfried Münkler (Political Sciene, HU Berlin)

@ Innsbruck:
12 October 2023 Pieter Judson (Contemporary History, EUI Florence)
08 November 2023 Gerhard Mangott (Political Science, Innsbruck)
28 November 2023 Dirk Rupnow (Contemporary History, Innsbruck)
n.n. Robert Rollinger (Ancient Near East, Innsbruck)