Framing Violence 2016

Framing Violence: A Multidisciplinary Symposium on Theorizing Frames

July 1-2, 2016
John F. Kennedy Institute, Freie Universität Berlin

Violence can take the form of a physical or verbal act of aggression, be inherent to an institutionalized practice, can be perpetrated and experienced. Attitudes towards violence (for example, whether an act of war is ‘justified’) can hold very different if not competing implications. How violent acts are perceived, mediated, and thought about — in short, how they are framed — can have a significant impact.

Frames can therefore serve as a useful unit of analysis in conceptualizing the various aspects of violence, both as a mode of communication and as a cognitive schema. Yet there are few terms in academia so amply used yet continually contested; the definition and application of ‘framing’ differs widely between and within disciplines. Frames can be understood as mobilizers around which political and social coalitions might form, or as the mode through which actors and institutions compete over diverging interpretations of reality. In visual media, frames literally shape how reality is perceived, through the selection of what is included and what is left out of an image. Similarly, they can serve as an essential structuring device in all manner of narratives. Frames can convey emotions and experiences. More broadly, they may be described as heuristic devices and as part of cognitive schemata and knowledge networks.

Based on the idea that the range and fractured nature of the paradigm of framing can be turned into an advantage, the goal of this workshop will be to distill and discuss multiple disciplinary perspectives. We are guided by the overarching question of how the combination and juxtapositioning of these understandings can lead us to a richer conceptualization of violence as a phenomenon.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following areas of interest:

  • Disciplinary approaches to frames as cognitive schemas and modes of communication
  • The function of frames in visual depictions of violence
  • Frames as metaphors and narrative devices in accounts of violence
  • Framing empathy and emotion
  • Modes of communication or representation, which may overcome, break or shift existing framing patterns

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Prof. Robert Entman, Ph.D.
J.B. and M.C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs, Professor of International Affairs
Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University

Dr. Pavan Malreddy
Neue Englischsprachige Literaturen und Kulturen
Frankfurt Memory Studies Platform, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

Timetable: Friday - July 1, 2016

10:30 - 11:00 Welcome & Intro

11:00 - 12:30 Panel I - Frames of Struggle and Unrest

  • Betsy Leimbigler (FU Berlin):  

Violence against indigenous women in Canada: frames under the Harper government

  • Nils Napierala (HU Berlin): 

Framing Violence – The Bundestag debates the 2015-riots in Frankfurt

  • Saskia Weber (FU Berlin): 

The Ferguson Protests in the context of civil disobedience and racism: A quantitative and qualitative frame analysis of American media coverage 

  • Mathieu Rousselin (Universität Duisburg-Essen):

Framing and Ideological Legitimation: A comparison of the visual and textual representation of violence in the Jasmine Revolution and London Riots

12:30 - 14:00 Lunch

14:00 - 15:30 Panel II - Violence as Spectacle

  • Dietmar Schloss (Universität Heidelberg):

Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club and the ‘Quest for Excitement’: Using Norbert Elias to Explain the Attraction of Fictional Violence 

  • Sean Bonney (FU Berlin): 

Poetics as Self-defence: Amiri Baraka at the End of the World

  • Sören Schoppmeier (FU Berlin): 

Grand Theft Satire? Framing Ludic Violence and the Problem of Ethical Gameplay in Grand Theft Auto V

15:30 - 16:00 Coffee

16:00 - 17:30 Panel III - Cognition, Affect and Political Violence

  • Louisa Bayerlein (LMU München):

Inconceivable Stories: Gender Narratives of Right-Wing Extremists in Germany 

  • Michael Oswald & Michael Johann (Universität Passau):

Frames of Terrorism

  • Jan Liebnitzky(TU Dresden):

Moral Disengagement in media and Moral Identity activation: their interactive effect on support of war

18:00 - 19:30 Keynote I

  • Robert Entman (George Washington University):

Why Benghazi, Why Not 9/11? Framing Violence and Scandals in US Foreign Policy

20:00 - 22:00 Conference Dinner

Timetable: Saturday - July 2, 2016

10:00 - 10:30 Coffee

10:30 - 12:00 Panel IV - Breaking the Frame

  • Magdalena Zolkos  (Australian Catholic University):  

Postcoloniality and Critique of the Event-centric Framing of Violence in Hanya Yanagihara’s The People in the Trees

  • Johannes Schmid  (Universität Hamburg): 

Framing Violence Through the Intermedial Dynamic of Photography and Graphic Literature

  • Birte Wege (FU Berlin): 

Reframing the ‘Real’ in Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal

12:00 - 13:00 Lunch

13:00 - 14:30 Panel V - Narratives / Locales of Violence

  • Daniel Gutiérrez  (University of California, San Diego):

Black Mirror: Understanding Violence in Tijuana

  • Pierre Héli Monot  (Universität Göttingen): 

Cage, Platform and Frame: The Haitian Revolution as a Philological Dispute

  • Tobias Jochum (FU Berlin): 

Resisting the Script, Scripting Resistance: Literary Responses to Fear, Impunity, and Militarization at the Mexico-US Border

14:30 - 15:00 Coffee

15:00 - 16:30 Keynote II

  • Pavan Malreddy  (Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main):

Towards Post-Terrorism? From Orientalism to 'Divine Violence’

Questions and inquiries - please contact the conference organizers:

Dr. Birte Wege (JFKI Department of Literature) :

Dr. Curd Knüpfer (JFKI Department of Political Science) :

In Cooperation with the Chairs of Political Science and Computer-Mediated Communication at the University of Passau.

Graphic Design & Copyright: Marina Arbenz 2016