Representations of Violence in Literature, Culture and Arts

deadline for submissions: 
July 31, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Osmaniye Korkut Ata University

In his foreword to World Report on Violence and Health, published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002, Nelson Mandela states that “the twentieth century will be remembered as a century marked by violence” (Krug, 2002, “Foreword”).  Now we are nearly at the end of the first quarter of the twenty-first century, but violence still permeates in our lives at various levels. Various forms of violence occurring at levels of interpersonal, self-directed, collective, state, warfare, child and youth violence, intimate partner violence, environmental violence, and animal violence lay bare the complexity and pervasiveness of the phenomenon, yet it also brings along the necessity to discuss violence from multiple perspectives. 

It is difficult to present a comprehensive definition of violence since not only the concept of violence is broad as stated above but also it runs the risk of degrading the concept through fixed meanings. Keeping in mind that the concept of violence has always attracted philosophers, writers, and artists across disciplines throughout centuries, the evolving nature of the concept has made it essential to address it from different perspectives. Concordantly, Dahlberg and Krug’s definition of ‘violence’ is an applicable one which characterizes violence on different aspects as follows: “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation” (Krug, 2002, 5). As Bandy X Lee comments, such interdisciplinary approach to violence is innovative in three aspects, the first of which underlines ‘intentionality’ pointing out “the process over outcome” (2019, 4). In the second place, power is represented along with physical force; thereby it emphasizes a wide range of forms violence is likely to occur – both in visible and invisible forms. Moreover, it includes ‘threat’ as a form of violence which means that the act can be intentional and actual, thus widening the scope of violence from a physical level to psychological one.  

Lee’s remarks on the very latest definition of violence are critical; however defining violence and its representations require pointing out the interrelatedness of forms of violence since one cannot ignore the fact that defining violence with a focus on ‘human’ would mean pushing the argument to a dead end. Undoubtedly, violence that we have been facing and/or enduring in our lives are mostly man-made; however we need to raise awareness about the interrelatedness of various forms of violence directed not only to human beings but also to all nonhuman beings, including animate and inanimate entities, around us. In this way, we could rethink the definition of violence and enhance our understanding of the concept from wider perspectives. Such a perspective will contribute to the violence studies, a field of academic research which is now evolving as a new field of scholarly interest on its own. 


Since the broadness of the concept of violence needs foregrounding the event on specific angles, paper / panel topics are limited to:


  • violence and gender
  • violence and masculinities
  • domestic violence and femicide
  • violence and child abuse 
  • emotional abuse and violence
  • violence and sexual victimization
  • violence and nature
  • violence and animal studies
  • environmental and ecological violence 
  • violence and ecofeminism
  • violence and posthumanism 
  • violence and racism
  • violence and discourse 
  • violence and state 
  • violence and power 
  • violence and trauma
  • violence and migration
  • violence and translation studies 
  • linguistic and semiotic representations of violence
  • media portrayals of violence
  • artistic and photographic depictions of violence
  • violence and nonviolence  


We kindly welcome abstracts of up to 350 words including key words and a short bio focusing on the representations of violence in literature, culture, arts, film studies and the media. Please send your abstracts and short bio to  by July 16, 2021.

Each paper presentation is of 15 minutes, followed by a 5 minutes of Q&A session. Panel submissions will also be considered. 

The official languages of the conference are English and Turkish. Selected papers will be considered for publication of an edited book and /or a special issue of a  journal. 

 Please contact us in advance on the condition that you would like to chair a session. All participants will receive a certificate of participation. 

For further information, please visit or send an e-mail to for further inquiries. 

Although we firmly believe that face-to-face encounters in academia enrich our intellectual milieu, the conference has been planned to be virtual because of the current state of Covid-19 pandemic which makes any plans of travel challenging, and public health is a priority. Therefore, no registration fee will be required for the conference. 



Krug EG et al., eds. World report on violence and health. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2002.

Lee, Bandy X. Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures. Haboken, Wiley Blackwell, 2019.