On Violence

Volume 1 Issue 1

Letter from the Editors

January 24th, 2017

We would like to extend a warm welcome to all those visiting the e.g. website for the first time and all those returning to read our first issue in the new format. e.g. began as an online journal to showcase work from first-year expository writing students at the University of Washington. We have relaunched the journal with the vision of creating space to fuel interdisciplinary conversations–through publishing exemplary samples of undergraduate writing from across the nation–on timely, compelling topics. As editors, we hope that by expanding the pool of student contributors beyond one university, we might encourage more undergraduates to actively participate in contemporary academia and public scholarship. When initially discussing the relaunch of e.g., we wondered if a nationwide journal for undergraduate writing would cast too wide a net. Would students be excited and open to share their work with a broad reading audience? Would the conversations from individual academic programs or classrooms around the country translate meaningfully into special issues on a specific topic? We are pleased to announce that the experiment to expand the scope and focus of the journal paid off with a strong response from students not only into the US, but also undergraduates around the globe. We are proud to present our first special issue, On Violence.

Violence is a difficult subject, but it also constitutes a significant concern for modern life, as much now as ever. Given the very real threat of violence in the current socio-political global climate, discussions of violence allow us to both problematize and navigate the materiality of bodily harm, creating space for potential solutions. Though violence has an important place in aesthetics and popular media, the essays in this issue focus on real-world violence, from conflicts over land and power to gendered violence. In “The Principle of Conquest,” John Carden argues that international laws that aim to curtail conflict aren’t successful in part because of the inconsistencies of regulatory councils and in part because they fail to address the motivations of violent conquest. Using case studies from Cyprus, Western Sahara, East Timor, Kuwait, and Ukraine, Carden draws careful connections between historical patterns, the creation of international laws, and the implementation of the same laws in order to highlight the significant shortcomings of existing systems and offer potential solutions. In the second contribution, Iren Boyarkina studies the trend of domestic violence in “Violence Against Women in Italy: An Interdisciplinary Approach.” Drawing from studies of law, healthcare, and culture, Iren likewise attempts to address potential causes of violence and the systemic failures that allow its proliferation. Bridging the historical and the modern, the regional and the global, these essays interrogate the dynamics of both state-sponsored and domestic violence. Taken together, these contributions help shape our understanding of historical legacies of violence, imperialism, and quotidian acts of violence from a global perspective.

We hope you enjoy the work of our talented contributors in the e.g. special issue, On Violence, and can use it to help frame conversations at your institutions, in your classrooms, and in your communities. Please also note the link to the CFP for our upcoming spring special issue, which will focus on pop culture. We look forward to reading new student work and continuing the project of cultivating engaging, scholarly discussions for our readers and generating new opportunities for students to showcase their writing!


AJ Burgin and Steph Hankinson


The principle of Conquest

This paper intervenes in the conversation of the legitimacy and "altrustic" nature of foreign policy and international law. International law is seen as inconsistent at best and merely words on a page at worst. World powers enjoy the privilege of using the law when convenient and ignoring it when it doesn't suit their best interests. This defeats the purpose of establishing the law in the first place. In particular, this paper looks at the history and role of conquest in the context of international law. Conquest is one of the higher forms of organized violence, and it is allowed in an alarming amount of circumstances. If world leaders honestly want a world free from conflict and violence, they need to understand why it persists. By looking at the larger picture, we can understand the underlying principles of violence and why it is allowed to occur.

Keywords: conquest, UN, inconsistency

Violence Against Women in Italy: Interdisciplinary Approach

The paper is addressed to everyone interested in issues related to preventing and combatting gender and domestic violence, as well as in gender studies, feminism, and cultural studies. It analyses cultural, social, and economic reasons for gender violence in Italy with the special focus on the South and reviews several proposals to diminish and prevent gender and domestic violence, as well as estimates the adaptability of international experience in the field with respect to the Italian realities.

The goal of the paper is to study the various reasons that lead to high gender violence rates in Italy, especially in the South of it, using the interdisciplinary approach. Analysing the problem of violence from various viewpoints, the paper proposes several measures in different spheres to prevent and diminish gender and domestic violence rates.

Keywords: gender violence, Italy.