Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Torture


Editors: Lon Olson and Stuart Molloy
This volume offers diverse insights on how the practice of torture has impacted society and how we view human nature. After the Second World War, it was hoped that torture had been permanently vanquished among modern liberal states, and was only practiced by brutal totalitarian regimes. However, events after 9/11 revealed that the re-emergence of torture is an ever-present threat, even among leading democracies. Drawing from their knowledge of the humanities and social sciences, the contributors offer their expertise on the deleterious effects of torture and reveal that its trauma is interwoven into the fabric of modern society, requiring constant diligence to be rooted out and kept at bay. Contributors are William Fitzhugh Brundage, Federico Ciavattone, Noora Virjamo, Toni Koivulahti, Diana Medlicott, Stuart Molloy, Lon Olson, Martin Previsic, David Senesh and Hedi Viterbo.

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Lon Olson, Ph.D. (2014), University of Texas at Austin, is Director of Assessment at Texas State University, San Marcos and is a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy. He is currently at work on a book on military ethics.
Stuart Molloy is a Ph.D. Candidate and Teaching Fellow in English and Literary Studies at The University of Western Australia. Encompassing literature, film and TV, his research interests include the representation of violence and the relationship between masculinity and psychopathology.
Notes on Contributors

Lon Olson

Part 1
Criminological, Legal and Psychological Perspectives
1 Death Row Inmates: Victims of Torture in the Land of the Free
Diana Medlicott
2 Torture’s In/ Visibility
Hedi Viterbo
3 Facing Evil: Can We Professionally Evaluate Torture?
David Senesh

Part 2
Philosophical and Theological Perspectives
4 The Ambiguity of Sovereignty: the Passion Narrative as a Paradox
Toni Koivulahti
5 Barbarians at the Gate: Reasserting a Natural Law Definition of Torture
Lon Olson
6 Beyond the State: Human and Animal Positions Outside the Law
Noora Koivulahti

Part 3
Historical and Literary Perspectives
7 Torture, Slavery, Civilisation and Human Rights in the United States 1820–1860
W. Fitzhugh Brundage
8 Torture and Anti-Partisan War: the Case of the Italian Social Republic 1943–1945
Federico Ciavattone
9 The Goli Otok Camp: Torture Justified by External Threats?
Martin Previšić
10 ‘A Real Show of Horrors’: Reading Representations of Torture in A Clockwork Orange and American Psycho
Stuart Molloy

Anyone with an interest in the humanities and social sciences, and how these fields can be harnessed to understand and mitigate the influence of torture.