The 2nd Conference on Historical Studies offers a critical view of the history of violence and peace
Participants in the event organised by the Faculty of Humanities included Dr Oriol Quintana, lecturer at IQS-Ramon Llull University; Dr Carlos Villán, former worker at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Dr Josep Maria Solé i Sabaté, full professor at the UAB.
To mark the 80th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War, which culminated in the Battle of the Ebro, the Faculty of Humanities organised the 2nd Conference on Historical Studies on this momentous occasion. The event constituted an analysis of war and peace, taking a critical look at the history of violence and pacifism with the help of experts and scholars.
Present at the conference was IQS-Ramon Llull University lecturer Dr Oriol Quintana, who, through the life and work of George Orwell, talked about the way in which the author criticised the conceptualisation and application of pacifism in several of his works. He went on to share several other reflections, including the author’s criticism of the line of thought advocated by Mahatma Gandhi or his view that it was easier to be a pacifist in England than in Germany in the interwar period and during the Second World War.
For his part, Dr Carlos Villán, a former worker at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and lecturer at the University of Alcalá, delivered a talk focused on “Peace as a Human Right”. During the lecture, he analysed everything from the scope of the international military industry –Spain is the world’s seventh largest exporter of arms– to the tragic deaths of people attempting to escape war by crossing the Mediterranean (in 2018 alone, 2,160 people either perished or disappeared). He also explained that there are over 70 armed conflicts currently being waged throughout the world and discussed the changes and developments in the UN Security Council’s policies.
Dr Carlos Villán and Dr Josep Maria Solé i Sabaté, a professor at the UAB, then offered a critical reflection on the Battle of the Ebro, from its causes to its consequences, while Dr Xavier Garí, a lecturer at UIC Barcelona, weighed the history of peace against the history of war from a neutral, unbiased and objective perspective. The conference was organised with support from the Institute for Catalan Studies’ Catalan Society of Historical Studies and Catalan Society of Legal Studies.