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Transcultural Conflict & Violence Initiative

Recognizing that high-speed global communication networks have transformed utterances, images, and writings into the ideological fodder for ethnic, religious, and other political conflicts that cross national boundaries, the Transcultural Conflict and Violence Initiative builds research teams of faculty and competitively selected doctoral students trained in Computer Science, Communication Studies, Middle East Studies, Religious Studies, Political Science, English, Psychology, and Anthropology in an effort to:


  • Better understand the underlying causes of transcultural conflicts,
  • Identify research-based solutions for reducing the impact of transcultural conflicts, and
  • Detect predictive indicators of future transcultural conflicts.

While ethnic, religious, and cultural conflicts have historically destabilized the world, the advent of high-speed global communication networks has magnified the potential to inflame social collectives. The Transcultural Conflict and Violence Initiative at Georgia State University will explore the distribution and impact of discourse, images, and other multimedia processes that contribute to global violence and conflict, as well as contribute research-based interventions for stemming such violence. Faculty from Computer Science, Communication, Middle East Studies, Religious Studies, Political Science and English work together to better formulate conflict management and violence prevention strategies.

High-speed global communication networks have transformed simple utterances, images, and writings into the ideological fodder of ethnic, religious, and other transcultural conflicts. The increasing influence of social media web sites, blogs, wikis, and video sharing sites has made understanding transcultural conflict an international priority.The Transcultural Conflict and Violence (TCV) Initiative will distinguish GSU nationally by adopting an interdisciplinary approach to the understanding of the transcultural distribution of discourses, images, and performances of global violence and conflict.

TCV will build on

(1) the Computer Science Department’s national expertise in network security, AI, and image processing which collectively contributed to its recent NRC ranking as one of the premiere programs in the southeastern U.S., and

(2) national award-winning humanities faculty studying how media, literature, religious symbolism, and rhetoric contribute to violence and conflict. This proposal is consistent with federal research directions (DOD, NSF, etc.) and private funding opportunities (Guggenheim, ACLS, etc.).

The proposal would add three new Associate or Full Professors in the areas of signal and image processing (Computer Science), Middle Eastern visual culture (Communication) and contemporary violence and religion (Religious Studies), with affiliate/joint appointment opportunities in the Middle East Institute, or the English Department. Carol Winkler will be the point-of-contact for the TCV initiative.

Contact: Carol Winkler, Professor, Communication; Associate Dean, Humanities