Victims: Figures of Violence, Embodiments of Trauma

1 June 2010, 13:00 - 17:00

McDonald Institute Seminar Room, Downing Site

Victims’ is the third of the ‘In the Wake of War’ series of workshops, hosted by the Cambridge PCPC Group. This workshop will explore the impact of conflict and violence on people, both in the context of conflict actors and the victims of violence. The focus will be on the concept of victimhood and how this informs post-conflict scenarios.


This workshop will seek to problematize the notion of victimhood both on the level of individual people and for communities/states. On the level of the individual: how useful is the distinction between ‘conflict actor’ and ‘victim’, and how blurred can the lines be between the two? On the level of communities/states: can one side or the other in a conflict ever effectively claim victim status, does being the bigger victim give a moral victory, and does it permit a discourse that turns acts of aggression into more 'permissible' acts of self-defence?



Following the workshop, a short briefing paper will be drafted, outlining the discussions to include: the essential frames of reference, the key issues and questions, the lessons learned, and any recommendations put forward.

For further information and queries please contact  the conveners of the workshop series:

Dr Dacia Viejo-Rose and Dr Naoise Mac Sweeney.


Victims: Figures of Violence, Embodiments of Trauma Programme

Location : McDonald Institute, Downing Site

Date : 1 June 2010


Welcome, introductions, and key issues


Edward Kanterian (University of Oxford)
The concept of victimhood

Steve Zyck (PRDU, University of York)
Conflict actors as victims

Laura Hammond (SOAS)
Victims as conflict actors


Coffee/Tea Break


Anna Rader (RUSI)
Constructing victimhood - Wootton Bassett

Yasir Suleiman (University of Cambridge) tbc
Constructing victimhood - Palestine and Israel 



Facilitated by Harald Wydra (University of Cambridge)


End of Workshop