Violence, Nonviolence, and Necessary Suffering

January 24, 2020

Peyman Vahabzadeh & Ian Angus

Friday, January 24, 6:00PM–8:00PM, Room 2270, SFU Harbour Centre

Sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities

Violence and nonviolence cannot be regarded as opposites or mutually exclusive.  This presentation offers five propositions regarding violence and nonviolence in order to show that they are not opposites but concentric, with nonviolence being ontologically dependent on violence.  The presentation expands on a specific aspect of this relationship: pain and suffering.  Human inflicted pain is an indicator of violence but this view obscures how the pain is part of who I am and how in liberating themselves from injustice and violence, humans should learn to embrace necessary suffering. 

**Book will be available for $20 (50% of regular price, cash only) at the event**


Peyman Vahabzadeh is Professor of Sociology at University of Victoria. He is the author of Articulated Experiences: Toward A Radical Phenomenology of Contemporary Social Movements (2003), A Guerrilla Odyssey: Modernization, Secularism, Democracy and the Fadai Discourse of National Liberation in Iran, 1971-1979 (2010), Exilic Meditations: Essays on A Displaced Life (2012), Parviz Sadri: A Political Biography (2015; in Persian), Violence and Nonviolence: Conceptual Excursions into Phantom Opposites (2019), and A Rebel’s Journey: Mostafa Sho‘aiyan and Revolutionary Theory in Iran (2019). He is also the editor of Iran’s Struggles for Social Justice: Economics, Agency, Justice, Activism (Palgrave, 2017) and the co-editor, with Samir Gandesha, of Crossing Borders: Essays in Honour of Ian Angus (Arbeiter Ring, 2020). He has published eight books of poetry, fiction, literary criticism, and memoir in Persian.  His works and interviews have appeared in English, Persian, German, Kurdish, and Spanish.


Ian Angus is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Simon Fraser University.  He has taught modern European thought and Canadian intellectual history. He teaching has been in both these areas in the Humanities Department. His book on the university has recently appeared in Spanish translation as Amar las Preguntas: Acerca de la universidad y la educación (Buenos Aires: Wolkowicz Editores, 2019). He's currently working on a manuscript on phenomenological Marxism for the 21st century.