4th Global Conference
Sunday 14th July – Tuesday 16th July 2013
Mansfield College, Oxford
Confucius is said to have remarked, ‘Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves,’ implying that revenge cannot be undertaken without recursive deleterious effects on the revenging agent. This is the view that revenge is at best counterproductive, or that seeking it runs counter to the ethical mandate that one turn the other cheek. Does that mean that vengeful motives are out of place in seeking justice for real wrongs? Should the law attempt to exclude vengeance-seeking? Do some economic or political systems tolerate, or even require, elaborate systems of revenge? Not all societies, of course, would agree that revenge is ethically problematic; some would define revenge as a necessary component in social relationships, even as a method for connecting people across time or over distances. Traditional grudges are commonplace in places as cultural different from each as the Swat Valley (Pakistan) and the American Southeast. Given all this, is is even possible to come up with a universally relevant concept of revenge that would make comparison possible?
This multi-disciplinary research and publications project seeks to explore the different ideas, actions, and cultural traditions of vengeance or revenge. The project explores the nature of revenge, its relationship with issues of justice, economy, and social organization, and its manifestation in the actions of individuals, cultures, communities and nations. We will also consider the history and political economy of revenge, its ‘legitimacy,’ the ‘scale’ of vengeful actions, and whether or not revenge has (or should have) ‘limits.’ Representations of revenge in film, literature, law, television, and cultural performances will be analysed; cultural ‘traditions’ of retaliation and revenge will be considered. And the role of mercy, forgiveness and pardon will be assessed.
Presentations will be considered on the following or related themes:
- Philosophies of revenge
- Revenge and political economy
- Revenge in the philsophies of East and South Asia: Confucian and Hindu perspectives
- Revenge in Maori culture
- Vengeance and gender
- Vengeance in history, literature, and popular culture
- Revenge cross-culturally
- Is there any proper and improper time for revenge? Can an act of revenge be carried across generations?
- Revenge, vengeance, retaliation
- Justice and revenge
- Betrayal, humiliation, shame, resentment, and revenge
- Revenge and the individual; revenge and the group; revenge and the nation; revenge and capitalism
- Revenge in music and the arts
- Revenge in television, film, radio and theatre
- Relationship between revenge and mercy, forgiveness, pardon
- Revenge case-studies: individual, cultural, and historical
The Steering Group particularly welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.
What to send:
300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 8th February 2013. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 10th May 2013. Abstracts should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) up to 10 key words
E-mails should be entitled: REV4 Abstract Submission.
Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.
Joint Organising Chairs:
The conference is part of the Probing the Boundaries programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting. All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers maybe invited for development for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s)