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Series on Violence and the Human Condition Opens

By Whitney Hale

(May 12, 2015) — The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities and the UK College of Arts and Sciences are teaming up to present a series of workshops on violence and the human condition. The first of several events, a workshop on political violence and how it is measured, will take place Wednesday-Friday, May 13-15, at various locations across campus. This workshop is free and open to the public.

Arts and Sciences and the Gaines Center are sponsoring a year of programming around the broad theme of "Violence and the Human Condition."  Over the course of the 2015-16 academic year, faculty members from many different UK departments will collaborate with each other and with visiting experts from other universities in a series of mini-conferences and workshops that will be free and open to the campus as a whole. 

The partnership will explore the theme of violence across many different registers — architecture and conflict, political violence, war and gender, transnational dimensions of violence, the intersections of violence in Latin America, and the notion of war without end as a metaphor in contemporary life. 

As part of the first workshop, "Political Violence and the Human Condition: Issues of Measurement and Methodology," the Gaines Center and UK Department of Political Science will host eight presenters.

The agenda for the first day will include two panel discussions presented from 1-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 13, at the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. Panel 1 will run from 1-2:30 p.m., and will include time for comments and a Q&A. Participants in this panel and their topics are as follows:

  •  Mary Fran Malone, associate professor of political science from University of New Hampshire, "Learning to Protect and Serve in Latin America: Building Relationships between Police and the Communities They Serve";
  • Emily Ritter, associate professor of political science from University of California, Merced, "State Cooperation with International Criminal Tribunals: An Investigation of International Warrant Enforcement"; and
  • political science doctoral candidate Adeline Lo from University of California, San Diego, "Predicting civil wars with higher order interactions.”

A reception with refreshments will be held from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Panel 2 will run from 3:30-5 p.m., and will also include time for comments and a Q&A. Participants in this panel and their topics are as follows:

  • Melanie Hughes, associate professor of sociology from University of Pittsburgh, "Unpacking the Effect of the Changing Sex Ratio on Women’s Political Representation in Post-Conflict States";
  • political science postdoctoral fellow Juliane Krüger from University of Michigan, "Multiple systems estimation (MSE) at the example of lethal violence in Kosovo 1999"; and
  • Patricia Sullivan, associate professor of public policy from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "Sunk Costs and Citizen Support for Military Operations Abroad."

The following afternoon, political science doctoral candidate Kelly A. Gleason from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee will present a talk titled “Can Ethnic Party Bans Scale Back Conflict?: Applying Measurement Modeling to Reassess Ethnic Conflict Data.” Gleason's presentation will be from 1:30-2:15 p.m. Thursday, May 14, at King Alumni House.

This workshop will end with a presentation by Mirya Holman, assistant professor of political science, from Tulane University. Her talk, "The Consequences of Terror Threat for Public Preference over Female Leadership," will run from 4:15-5 p.m. Friday, May 15, at William T. Young Library UK Athletics Auditorium.

The workshop agenda was coordinated by Tiffany Barnes, assistant professor of political science, and Emily Beaulieu, associate professor of political science.

For more information on this workshop, contact Greg Saxton at For more on the year of programming, contact the Gaines Center at 859-257-1537. 

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. Part of the Academy of Undergraduate Excellence within the Division of Undergraduate Education, the center is devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty. The center embraces varied paths of knowledge and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.