Friday, March 25, 2016
(Live streaming here) America's long history of violence began with the killing and displacement of its indigenous peoples. Later, largely as a result of slavery, the Civil War nearly tore the country apart. The U.S. is a world leader in gun ownership per capita, in murders committed by guns and in numbers of citizens incarcerated. Domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sex trafficking continue to be serious, yet often ignored problems, and places we expect to be safe - homes, schools, theaters, hospitals - have sometimes experienced bloodshed and murder. Violence in video games, television, and film has become more graphic and explicit, and extreme aggression in professional sports now results in brain and other life-shortening injuries. Join a discussion about potential factors implicated in violence including: changes in popular culture; a public/private prison industry focused more on profit than rehabilitation; pervasive attitudes regarding mental health; and the systemic roles of sexism and racism. In addition to understanding causal links, learn more about potential solutions. How can we create a society focused on conflict resolution through pragmatic, peaceful means?
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, check out some of the highlighted resources.
- Bazemore, G., & Schiff, M. (2015). Restorative community justice: Repairing harm and transforming communities. Routledge.
- Buchwald, E., Fletcher, P. R., & Roth, M. (Eds.). (2005). Transforming a rape culture. Minneapolis, MN: Milkweed Editions.
- Smith, Andrea. (2015). Conquest: Sexual violence and American Indian genocide. Duke University Press.
- Coates, T. (2015). Between the world and me. New York: Spiegel & Grau.
- Alexander, M. (2012). The new Jim Crow : Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness. New York: The New Press.
- Stevenson, B. (2014). Just mercy : A story of justice and redemption (First ed.). New York: Spiegel & Grau.
- Schmid, D.. (2016). Violence in American popular culture. Santa Barbara, California: Praeger.
- Friedman, J., & Valenti, J. (2008). Yes means yes: Visions of female sexual power and a world without rape. Seal Press.
- Pinker, S. (2012). The Better Angels of our Nature: Why Violence has Declined. Penguin Press.
- Grossman, D. (2009). On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. New York: Little, Brown, & Co.
- Bully. “Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders.”
- Tough Guise 2. Examines the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the U.S.
- Jackson Katz TED Talk: Violence against women - it's a men's issue.
- Joystick Warriors. Examines the genre of first-person shooter games, exploring how the immersive experience they offer links up with the larger stories we tell ourselves as a culture about violence, militarism, guns, and manhood.
- Not Just a Game: Power, Politics & American Sports. “Takes an uncompromising look at how sports culture has glamorized militarism, commercialism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. But it also excavates a largely forgotten tradition of rebel athletes and sports writers to show how American sports culture, at its best, has modeled forms of courage, resistance, and perseverance that have enriched American life.”
- Hip Hop: Beyond Beats & Rhymes. “A self-described ‘hip hop head’ takes an in-depth look at masculinity and manhood in rap and hip hop, where creative genius collides with misogyny, violence and homophobia, exposing the complex intersections of culture and commerce.”
- The Mask You Live In. The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.
Articles and Chapters
- Bennett, L.B., & Williams, O.J. (2003). Substance abuse and men who batter: Issues in theory and practice. Violence Against Women Journal. 9 (5), 558-575.
- Drake, D. (2014). “Understanding Economic Power Dynamics as a Method to Combat LGBT Homicides.” in Swan, W. (2015). Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights : A public policy agenda for uniting a divided America. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
- Katz, R. S., Willis, H., & Joseph, J. J. (2014). Economic inequality, racism and trauma: growing up in racist combat zones and living in racist prisons. Journal of Pan African Studies, 7(6), 25-60.
- Valkenburg, P. M., Peter, J., & Walther, J. B. (2016). Media Effects: Theory and Research. Annual Review Of Psychology, 67(1), 315-338. doi:10.1146/annurev-psych-122414-033608
- Williams, D. R., & Mohammed, S. A. (2013). Racism and health I: pathways and scientific evidence. American Behavioral Scientist, 57(8): 1152-1173. doi: 10.1177/0002764213487340
- Obama Urges Rejection of Violence at Campaign Rallies, New York Times, March 15, 2016.
- Dallas Drake, Executive Director, Center for Homicide Research
- Zeam L.B. Porter, a transgender/gender non-conforming high school student and activist in anti-bullying/Safe Schools initiatives
- Lindsey Middlecamp, Assistant City Attorney for the City of Minneapolis, rape and sexual assault survivor and activist
- Oliver Williams, Professor, University of Minnesota School of Social Work whose research focuses on domestic violence
- Scott Marsalis, subject specialist for Social Work and Family Social Science