Homicide in the Western World:Are We Killing Each Other Less Than in the 'Good Old Days'?

Homicide is a huge fascination for the average human being. Our television is overflowing with murder related shows, such as CSI, Homicide, NYPD Blue, American Justice, even the long standing classic, Murder She Wrote. Film classics such as Friday the 13th, Psycho and Dead Man Walking are just the tip of the iceberg.

Popular culture, literature, the evening news, and our legal system are all abundantly devoted to telling tales of murder, and to examining the crime in great detail. We engage in rigorous debate about the pros and cons of killing humans convicted of murder, the killing of oneself, and euthanasia.

A thoughtful alien observing Earth might find it strange that humans are so intensely pre-occupied with death and murder. What’s going on that we are glued to the TV, gripped by Hitchcock and obsessed about crime? Are we any more homicidal now than in the ‘good old days’?

University of Lethbridge Professor Malcolm Greenshields is a leading expert in the field of homicide. His research explores our long tradition of homicide and how it has changed over the ages. This will be a riveting lecture. Bring your questions.

Speaker: Professor Malcolm Greenshields is currently writing a book examining the history of homicide in the Western World. He has also published on the history of European violence, women and violence, religious dissent, North American religion, forensic science, and most recently religious reform in French Roman Catholicism. Since 1985, Dr. Greenshields has been a Professor of History at the University of Lethbridge. In 1992 Professor Greenshields received the University of Lethbridge Distinguished Teaching Award.

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