Device is incompatible to play the video
Thursday, 6 December 2018, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Barnard's Inn Hall

Understanding Violent People

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA

Most of us have witnessed or had personal dealings with violent people. Why do they act as they do? How have British and American commentators during the past two centuries understood violent behaviour? The media incites anxieties about personal vulnerability; widespread innumeracy leads many people to misread crime-statistics; and an expectation of greater civility makes its breach so much more frightening. What can we do to reduce levels of violence in our society?

JoannaBourke-(6)BritishAcademy-bw-370x370.jpg

Joanna is Gresham Professor of Rhetoric. 

She is a well-known social and cultural historian. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and outgoing Chair of its Modern History Section. She is the prizewinning author of 14 books, including histories on modern warfare, medicine and science, psychology and psychiatry, the emotions, pain, what it means to be human, and sexual violence. Her books have been translated into many languages. Her book An Intimate History of Killing won the Wolfson Prize and the Fraenkel Prize. She is a prolific public speaker and is College Orator at Birkbeck, as well as a frequent and award-winning contributor to TV and radio programmes. She was a Visiting Professor of History at Gresham College from 2017-19.

Professor Joanna Bourke said: “I am very excited to become Gresham Professor of Rhetoric because Gresham College’s four centuries of service to London, the UK, and the international community are an inspiration.  Like all professors at Gresham College, I strongly believe in the power of education to improve our world. People who attend lectures at Gresham College (or watch them online) are intellectually engaged thinkers: as the next Gresham Professor of Rhetoric, I am thrilled to be able to continue discussing topics of interest with them. 

“I chose the theme of my first series of lectures – the body – for its considerable contemporary importance. In my series, I hope to reveal the historically varied ways that people have understood bodies. These variations are often surprising; always intriguing. The changing medical, scientific, moral, economic, and political meanings given to the material body have radical implications for human culture. Understanding these meanings change tell us a great deal about what it means to be human."

Professor Bourke's lecture series are as follows:

2021/22 Sex: A Modern History

2020/21 Evil Women

2019/20 Exploring the Body

2018/19 Understanding Human Violence cont.

2017/18 Understanding Human Violence

All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Rhetoric can be accessed here.

Read More
Read Less
Related Future Lectures
Related Past Lectures
WATCHED
Part of a series

Blacks Britannica: Diversity in Medieval and Early Modern England

Dr Onyeka Nubia
Wednesday, 6 October 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Pleasure

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 7 October 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

What does it mean for Israel to be a Jewish state?

Professor Yaacov Yadgar
Thursday, 14 October 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

The Death of Richard III: CSI Meets History

Professor Sarah Hainsworth
Thursday, 21 October 2021 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Manuscripts and Intellectual Legacy of Timbuktu

Robin Walker
Thursday, 28 October 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

Europe's Search for Sustainable Security

Professor Patricia Clavin
Monday, 1 November 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The Spanish Culture of Charles I's Court

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Wednesday, 15 September 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Private Palaces: The Mansions of the Marlboroughs

Professor Simon Thurley CBE
Tuesday, 15 June 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

The History of Synagogue Music in London

Chazan Eliot Alderman
Tuesday, 8 June 2021 - 1:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Theatres of War: Crusade, Colonialism and Chivalry in the Middle Ages

Nicholas Paul
Thursday, 3 June 2021 - 1:00PM
WATCHED

Caroline Herschel: Discoverer of Comets

Sheila Kanani
Wednesday, 2 June 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED

The Astronomer and the Witch: Kepler’s Mother

Ulinka Rublack FBA
Tuesday, 1 June 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Abstinence

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 12 May 2022 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Monogamy

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 17 March 2022 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Sex Work

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 17 February 2022 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Pornography

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 6 January 2022 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Perversion

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 11 November 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Pleasure

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 7 October 2021 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Cruelty to Animals

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 21 March 2019 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

State Torture

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Thursday, 18 October 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

Training in Violence: An Essay in Military Hazing

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

A Global History of Sexual Violence

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 - 6:00PM
WATCHED
Part of a series

The History of Pain

Professor Joanna Bourke FBA
Wednesday, 11 October 2017 - 6:00PM