Symposium Program - Narrating Violence: Making Race, Making Difference

Brian Schiff Discussion

University of Turku and The George and Irina Schaeffer Center for the Study of Genocide, Human Rights and Conflict Prevention at The American University of Paris are co-organizing the Winter symposium of the Nordic Summer University Study Circle Narrative and Violence: Narrating Violence: Making Race, Making Difference.


A first part will take place on March 15-17 and a second part on March 29-31.


This public online event will take place at CET time.


This symposium will explore questions on the production, practice, and instrumentalization of violent narratives about racial, ethnic, religious, gender, sexual, and political minorities and groups. It will bring together international scholars from multiple disciplines in order to investigate the role of narratives as a resource for motivating, justifying, and rationalizing structural violence, discrimination, and even mass violence or genocide.


Registration is required at least 48h in advance: please note that registration is needed for the two parts, the first one (registration here) and the second one (registration here).


Only registered guests will receive the Zoom link.



Please find below the program of the symposium Narrating Violence: Making Race, Making Difference:


I. 15-17 March



15.00–15.15 – Introduction


15.15–16.15 Keynote Lecture

Faith Mkwesha (University of Helsinki, Finland), “Dislocation and Continuities: Decolonial Approach to Identity Formation of an African Woman in Finland and the U.S”


16.30–18.15Cultural Images of Violence I

James Waller (Keen State College, USA), “A Troubled Sleep: The Violent Narratives of Political Murals in Northern Ireland”

Anna Walker (University of Plymouth, UK), “Whose story is it anyway? A discussion about the trauma of cultural appropriation”

Jyrki Pöysä (University of Eastern Finland), “Monsters as a race in horror films”

Finn Walker (UK), “The ‘3 weird sisters’”



11.30–13.30 Workshop

Kaiju Harinen (University of Turku, Finland), “Making Race and Difference in Ken Bugul’s Autobiographical Fiction”


15.00–15.45Denial and Incitement

Katsuri Chatterjee (FLAME University, India), “That-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named: Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide, Historical Legacies, and Potential Hopes for Future”

Adam Strater (Emory University, USA), “Esau and Amalek in Contemporary Jewish Extremist Rhetoric”


16.00–17.20 – Sexual Violence

Sofia Wanström (Åbo Akademi University, Finland), “Narrating rape. The use of sexual violence for creating the Other”

Imen El Bedoui (University of Tunis, Tunisia), “Raped twice … a Story to tell … when Violence is amplified”

Erica Capecchi (University of Bristol/Cardiff University, UK), “When Misogyny Meets Racism: Racialised Gender Aesthetics in the Narratives of Today’s Italian Far-Right”



12.30–15.15 Theme Seminar. Racialised Violence and Comics in the Nordic Region and Beyond (organized in collaboration with Anna Vuorinne and Laura Antola (University of Turku, Finland), coordinators of the Nordic Summer University network Comics and Society. Research, Art, and Cultural Politics)

12.3013.00 – Welcoming Words (Laura Antola & Anna Vuorinne)

  • 13.00–13.50 – Part I

Holly May Treadwell (University of Kent, UK), “The Bloodthirsty Savage: The Representation of Indigenous Violence in Popular American Comics”
Hege Emma Rimmereide (Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norway), “Subversive Issues in Graphic Novels”

  • 14.00–15.15 – Part II

Mihaela Precup & Dragos Manea (University of Bucharest, Romania), “’Let’s talk about something else!’: Perpetration and Incomplete Memory in Sofia Z-4515

Anna Nordenstam & Margareta Wallin Wictorin (University of Gothenburg & Karlstad University, Sweden), “Violence against Women in Comics by Amalia Alvarez”
Oskari Rantala (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland), “Mass Violence and Narrative Irony in Suomen suurin kommunisti


II. 29-31 March



15–15.15 – Introduction


15.15–16.15 Keynote Lecture

Gérard Noiriel (EHESS, France), “The Rhetoric of Hate”


16.30–17.50 – Propaganda and Incitement

Luisa Morettin (NCI University London, UK), “The Enemy within. The Power of Anti-Slav Propaganda in Fascist Italy”

Caroline Laurent (Harvard University, USA), “Entomological Re-Appropriation of Propagandist Rhetoric: From ‘Inyenzi’ to ‘Phalène’ in Koulsy Lamko”

Olusegun Adeyeri (Lagos State University, Nigeria), “Ethnic Propaganda, Hate Speech and Mass Violence in Igbo-Hausa/Fulani Relations in Postcolonial Nigeria”



15.00–16.20 – Cultural Images of Violence II

Abigail Fields & Eden Almasude (Yale University, USA), “Afterlives: Reading, speaking, sensing violence”

Guglielmo Scafirmuto (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3, France), “Revealing the violence of racist narratives: Kaurismaki’s Le Havre and The Other Side of Hope

Shatha Almutawa (American University in Washington, USA), “Sword of Justice or Sword of Nationalism? Violence and Religion in the Turkish Television Series Diriliş: Ertuğrul


16.40–18.00 – Violent Legacies

Molly Andrews (Helsinki Collegium, Finland), “’I am not proud to be German’: East German identity and the legacy of Fascism”

Sarah Minslow (California State University, USA), “Narrating Violence in Children’s and Young Adult Literature”

Willa Rae Witherow-Culpepper & Timothy Williams (Rutgers University, USA & Bundeswehr University Munich, Germany), “Never Again? Questioning the link between Holocaust Education and Anti-Racist Outcomes”



15.00–16.20 – Studying Violent Narratives

Narelle Fletcher (University of Technology Sydney, Australia), “The Role of the ‘Inyenzi’ Narrative in the Discourse of Incitement to Genocide in Rwanda”

Daniel Rothenberg (School of Politics and Global Studies, Arizona, USA), “The Panic of the Robaniños: Gringo Organ Stealers, Narratives of Mistrust, and the Lived Experience of Structural Violence and Genocide” 

Silvia Pierosara (University of Macerata, Italy), “Between ‘Poison’ and ‘Remedy’: On the Structural Ambivalence of Narratives as a φάρμακον (pharmakon, cure) for Violence”


16.40–18.00 – Studying Violence: Theory and Methodology I

Sophie Major (University of California Berkeley, USA), “Indigenous Political Theory: Explaining Disciplinary Omissions”

Christopher Davey (Brigham Young University, USA), “Episodes of Genocide: The Gatumba Lens”

Frank Ojwang (University of Lapland, Finland), “Holistic Pre-integration Program at the Refugee Reception Centers as Interventions for Bridging Gaps for Terror and Insecurity in Finland”


18.20-19.10Studying Violence: Theory and Methodology II

Markku Mattila & Ari Haasio (Migration Institute of Finland & Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Finland), “Hate speech in Finnish Media During the 1930s and 2010: A Methodological Approach”

Roland Moerland (Maastricht University, Netherlands), “Unravelling the DNA of Genocide Denial”


19.20–19.50 – Concluding Remarks


Organizing committee:

Marta-Laura Cenedese, University of Turku, Finland

Helena Duffy, University of Turku, Finland

Constance Pâris de Bollardière, The American University of Paris, France

Brian Schiff, The American University of Paris, France