The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York


“Trust and Violence” – lecture by Jan Phillip Reemtsma

Nov 5, 2012, 6:00pm | Martin E. Segal Theatre

Trust and Violence

Jan Philipp Reemtsma

Is violence normal? In his new book Trust and Violence, Jan Phillip Reemtsma suggests that the notion that violence is abnormal and beyond comprehension is misleading, and attempts to contain and deter violence informed by this perspective are in turn also misguided. Violence cannot be fully understood, he argues, without first delving into the concept of trust—because in trust rests the foundation of true power. Join Reemtsma as he lectures on these two integral aspects of our society, drawing on a wide-ranging history of ideas about violence—from ancient philosophy through Shakespeare and Schiller to Foucault—and specific cases of extreme violence from medieval torture to the Holocaust.

Jan Philipp Reemtsma is the founder and director of the Hamburg Institute for Social Research, which produces interdisciplinary scholarship on 20th-century German history. He is a professor at Johannes Gutenberg Foundation and was awarded the Schiller Professorship at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. In addition to his new book, Trust and Violence, Reemtsma had previously published In the Cellar, an account of his experience of being taken hostage for forty-five days in 1996.

Co-sponsored by the PhD Program in History and the CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences

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