Call for Papers – Reflections on Revenge: an International Conference on the Culture and Politics of Vengeance

revengeReflections on Revenge: an International Conference on the Culture and Politics of Vengeance

2/3/4 September 2015, University of Leicester
Confirmed keynote speaker: Philippe Sands QC

‘…the sweetest morsel to the mouth that ever was cooked in hell’

The taste for revenge, whether morsel or dish served cold, is something people, groups and nations, and even animals desire. Since time immemorial, individuals and communities have done justice by harming those who have harmed them, despite the costs, and the avengers immortalised as heroes and villains. While the hurts and methods for addressing them may differ, blood feuds, the killing of Osama bin Laden, and revenge porn are all motivated by the need to get even.

This interdisciplinary conference will ask who seeks revenge and why, how it is done, how it is justified, how it is represented, how it feels to get revenge or be on the receiving end. This includes revenge starting with the smallest workplace slights, through family disputes and lynch mobs, to political violence, war and terrorism. We invite contributions, including those not in the academic paper format, from any area of biological, human and social sciences, arts and humanities, and more, that are related to topics including but not limited to:

  • interpersonal revenge, state revenge, collective punishment
  • technologies of revenge
  • revenge cultures, blood feuds, and informal justice
  • revenge, politics and world history
  • revenge, terrorism, armed conflict and retaliation
  • the personal and social costs of revenge
  • revenge, justice and injustice
  • revenge in art, literature and media

This is a multimedia event, and will be contributing to the production of a documentary on revenge by Rex Bloomstein and Justin Temple (RexEntertainment) as well as traditional academic outputs.

Please submit a 250 word abstract via email to by April 2nd, 2015.

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