The Understanding Conflict research cluster collaborates with a variety of partners outside of the academy with lived experience and/or practical knowledge of conflict and its transformation.
'Contesting Britain at War’ is a long-term project designed provide a common theme for the diverse work of Conflict Cluster members, and to attract funding that will ensure the sustainability of the Cluster in the longer term. The project is currently divided into two strands, with a view to holding two workshops, both of which will result in funding applications. This project was the outcome of a one-day symposium held in June 2016.
Organised in collaboration with Hydrocracker and Blast Theory, Operation Black Antler presented an immersive theatre piece that invited participants to consider and question state surveillance from the perspective of being sent undercover. This was followed by a series of talks, hosted as part of the Brighton Fringe, that invited critical reflections on the themes the theatre piece introduces.
The year 2015 marked the thirtieth anniversary of Elaine Scarry’s The Body in Pain. In this seminal text, Scarry offers a radical and original thesis on the relationship between embodiment, pain, wounding and imagining, arguing that pain is central to “the making and unmaking of the world”. This two-day conference reinvigorated the relevance of Scarry's text by applying the arguments there to contemporary debates on the body, pain, violence, and war; situating a classic text in our current conjuncture.
On the 17th June 2015, the Conflict Cluster hosted an evening of documentaries, followed by discussion, that explored film activism and political cinema. The screening included Sjećaš li se Sarajeva?/Do you remember Sarajevo? (51’), (2002), a compilation of home video footage filmed by residents of Sarajevo, in which they document the events around them to create a collective memory of the Siege of Sarajevo (1992-1996).
The Conflict Cluster hosted a two-day conference in 2015 exploring the issue of 'complicity' and the attendant difficulties in avoiding the issue, both in the model of a person that an increasingly neoliberal world creates, and the demands on how we live, what we do, what we do not do, and how we are to think. The conference included keynote by Thomas Docherty (University of Warwick) on 'Complicity and Responsibility' and a debate between Tom Hickey (University of Brighton & UCU) and Robert Fine (University of Warwick) on the academic boycott of Israeli academic institutions.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the Grand Hotel bombing in Brighton, the Conflict Cluster hosted a two-day symposium even as much marked as it did reevaluate the significance of the event. The event included a semi-staged performance of a new play by local dramatists Julie Everton and Josie Melia from Wild Spark Theatre.
In collaboration with the Critical Studies Research Group, the Conflict Cluster prsented a two-day conference exploring ontologies of conflict; interrogating by what theoretical means conflict, violence, and war come to be understood.
In companionship with the Hydrocracker Theatre Company, the Conflict Cluster hosted a day event exploring justice and revenge, coming out of Hydrocracker's critically acclaimed play, Wild Justice.
The interdisciplinary research cluster on Understanding Conflict: Forms and Legacies of Violence, in association with the Faculty of Arts' annual Research Festival introduced colleagues at the University of Brighton to the cluster areas of interest with our inaugural symposium.
Ontologies of Conflict at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities
Re-engaging Scarry at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities
Metacinema at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities
Wild Justice at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities
Inaugural Symposium at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities
Contesting Britain At War at University of Brighton, College of Arts and Humanities