Violence, Trauma and Reconciliation

Subject CRIM90017 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

May, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 15-May-2015 to 23-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-May-2015
Census Date 29-May-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 12-Jun-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: This subject will be delivered intensively from 9:00am - 5:00pm on 15, 16, 22, 23 May 2015.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Criminology at Undergraduate level

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Dr Juliet Rogers


Dr. Juliet Rogers

Subject Overview:

Mass violence inflicted by states and groups have a prolonged effect on communities and nations. This subject considers the forms of trauma people experience as a response to these forms of violence and explores how this trauma propels calls for apologies, truth commissions, retribution and torture. The subject employs psychoanalytic theory and practice to consider what it means to be traumatised and what it means to seek remedies from law. Legal practices, apologies and demands for reconciliation will be discussed as methods of responding to the rage, pain and mourning that trauma demands. The course will be divided into 4 sections dealing with – trauma, torture, testimony and reconciliation. In these sections we will look at events in South Africa, Northern Ireland, Rwanda, Australia and Nazi Germany, where legal mechanisms, apologies and vengeance have been utilised as responses to events such as genocide, terrorist acts, hostile occupation, and war. Note – some of the content of this course may be distressing.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

•Employ understandings of psychoanalytic theories of trauma and know how to apply some of these theories to their practice in the field.

•understand the effects of torture on a body and on a society;

• consider the application of law, torture and ideas of reconciliation in relation to theories of justice; • understand the role of legal rhetoric and policy in its relation to some practices of punishment, prohibition and incarceration;

•Understand different ideas of reconciliation and the implications of their application in differing contexts.


A 1000-word reflective essay (20%) due during the semester, and a 4000-word research essay (80%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, seminar attendance is compulsory on all 4 days. Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A Subject Reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

Recommended Texts:
  • Agamben, Giorgio Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (trans) Daniel Heller-Roazen, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1998.
  • Brown, Wendy (2004) 'The Most We Can Hope For....: Human Rights and the Politics of Fatalism'. South Atlantic Quarterly 103:2/3, Spring/Summer. Duke University Press.
  • Douzinas, Costas The End of Human Rights: Critical Legal Thought at the Turn of the Century Hart Publishing: Oxford., 2000.
  • Simpson, Gerry War, Law and Crime: War Crimes, Trials and the Reinvention of International Law, Cambridge. Polity Press, 2007.
  • Freud, Sigmund 'Mourning and Melancholia' Standard Edition Vol XIV (1914 - 1916): On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, Papers on Metapsychology and Other Works, Trans. James Strachey, Vintage 2001, Great Britain.
  • Scarry, Elaine Body in Pain: the making and unmaking of the world, New York, Oxford 1985.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have highly developed cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • have an advanced understanding of complex concepts and the ability to express them lucidly in writing and orally;
  • have sophisticated awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications;
  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

It is recommended that students who take this subject also take CRIM90007 Genocide, State Crime and the Law. Students who have undertaken CRIM90017 Violence, Trauma and Human Rights are not able to undertake this subject.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics
100 Point Master of Criminology
100 Point Master of Development Studies
100 Point Master of Journalism
150 Point Master of Criminology
150 Point Master of Development Studies
150 Point Master of Journalism
200 Point Master of Criminology
200 Point Master of Development Studies
200 Point Master of Journalism
200 points Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics

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