State Violence Research Network News – Expansion, 2020 Conference, and Events!

While the network website and social media has been relatively quiet for the last few months, we have been very busy behind the scenes working on a number of new initiatives, which we are really happy to be able to share with you now! We are going to be releasing information steadily over the next month, in the run up to our 2020 Conference Call for Papers, but we’re able to share some brand new things with you today. This post includes information on SVRN Working Groups, the 2020 SVRN Conference, and a Schedule of Upcoming SVRN Events.

SVRN Working Groups

A big part of the SVRN identity is decentralisation. Rather than a typical academic association or research network, the SVRN has never intended to have a centralised power and decision-making structure, beyond what is strictly necessary for the day-to-day maintenance of the network and its activities. To this end, after our inaugural conference in April 2019, we set about discussing how to achieve this decentralisation with members. The result, we’re happy to announce, is the first wave of SVRN Working Groups. While we hope and plan to have a number of other working groups come to be part of the SVRN, these first four (more information on each below) are a test of the concept and will shape the way we use Working Groups in the future.

Each group is autonomous, plans its own events, will contribute a panel to the annual SVRN conference, recruit its own membership, and shapes its own research questions, activities, and direction. Under the umbrella of the SVRN, the working groups can count on promotional and ‘producing’ support from the network, a share of any funds raised by the network, advice and help locating and applying for funding, and a decisive say in both the day-to-day running of the network and bigger plans for the network’s future and events.

In this first wave of Working Groups, we have the Environmental Violence, Environmental Activism Group (facilitated by Abigail Bleach), the Performing Activism Group (facilitated by Dr Jo Shah), the Gendered State Violence Group (facilitated by Jessica White), and the Protests and Policing Group (facilitated by George Francis Bickers, SVRN Co-Facilitator). Please click on the Working Group names to be taken to their respective pages, and the names of the facilitators to see their social media pages. Information about each group’s upcoming events can be found on their pages, and we plan on bringing you blog posts from each of the facilitators in due course.

If you are interested in joining a working group, please see the relevant working group page, which can be found by clicking above or on the right-hand side of the SVRN Home Page. If you are interested in establishing a working group, or would like to find out more, please click here.

SVRN 2020 Conference

After the unexpected success of the SVRN’s first conference in April 2019, we are thrilled to announce the dates, location, CFP release date, and title of our next conference, which we hope will be just as popular and successful as the first.

The title of the 2020 SVRN conference is:

Riot, Rebellion, Resistance, Repression: Representations of and Responses to Protest, Policing, and Power since 1900

As you can see, we have tried to stay true to the inter/multi/undisciplinary nature of last year’s conference, while going slightly more specific on the theme and, correspondingly, broadening the time period. The conference, as last year, will be held at The University of Manchester, on April 8th to 10th, 2020. We will be releasing the CFP for the conference on Tuesday October 1st, 2019, and it will be open for abstract submissions for two months, closing on Monday December 2nd, 2019.

We can’t wait to read your abstracts, and hope you are as excited about the theme as we are!


We realise it has been a long time since the SVRN hosted any events. This, unfortunately, has been due to funding issues and efforts towards getting the working groups established. However, we are now in a position to start organising events again, both SVRN-organised and those done by the working groups. All this information will be posted on the Events page of the SVRN website and promoted across social media as and when they are confirmed, but in the meantime we are happy to announce that the Performing Activism Working Group will be hosting their group’s launch event in London, on October 21st. As soon as we have more information, we will make this known, and we hope to see as many of you as possible there.

Closing Remarks

We are now approaching one full year of the State Violence Research Network’s existence, and we never expected things to have moved so fast or progressed so far. We would like to thank everyone who has signed up to become a member, those who attended the conference, those who volunteered their time to make the conference run so smoothly, and all those who have stepped up to become participating members of the network. We look forward to our second year, and hope that by this time next year the network will be bigger and better than ever before.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the State Violence Research Network, and/or signing up to our Listserv, please click here and fill in the form.  If you are interested in submitting a blog post to the SVRN, please click here.

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