Project Update #17: Theories of Violence Course



Project Update #17: Theories of Violence Course


November 20, 2018

Part of: World Bank & Sexual Violence Research Initiative Project: ‘Combatting Sexual Violence in Kyrgyzstan through Innovative Education and Information Technology (Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia)’

Dr Elena Kim, Dr Elena Molchanova, and Dr Frank G. Karioris



Building on the ‘Gender, Ethics, and Politics of Violence’ course that the team offered throughout Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 semesters, Dr Elena Molchanova has put together a course that expands on the focus on violence that the team began addressing. This course is being offered Fall 2018.


Her course, ‘Theories of Violence: Scientific Approaches’, will “provide an overview of contemporary theoretical approaches to types and representations of violence. It will have as an objective to review and refine the critical analysis of ‘prevent-the-violence’ thinking. Further, it will analyze the role of this mode of thinking in the prevention of the most frequent forms of both individual and systemic violence.” Further, each class session and topic will begin with a case study related to violence, addressing cases that touch on the individual, systems, cultural issues, and histories of violence.


While the course ‘Gender, Ethics, and Politics of Violence’ focused on broad and global case studies, this course will focus more heavily on examples and case studies taken from Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. This will be of great interest to students, providing them further insights into a more specific context.


Working with these regional case studies, the course will address theoretical paradigms related to violence, including Situation Action Theory, Social Perspectives, Biological framings of violence, and theories related to Political Violence. Each of these will be addressed using top scholarship from leading journals in the field, with the goal of providing students a deep theoretical knowledge about the various ways the scholars and researchers conceptualize violence – and the various levels which this violence exists and the connections between them.


The course is undergirded by Dr Molchanova’s comprehensive expertise in the fields of Psychology and Psychiatry. She will bring to the course her own personal case studies and experiences, bringing these to bear in relation to the theoretical and analytic readings that the students will undertake. Dr Molchanova’s expertise in this area will provide students with a unique and invaluable opportunity to learn from a preeminent practitioner in the field.


As the class progresses, we will provide further updates from Dr Molchanova – as well as her students – on the work that they have been doing and the cases that they are working on. This class will also tie in with the Gender Studies Minor that AUCA and the Center offers, and will be connected with other courses on gender that are being offered.



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