Genealogies of Modernity Episode 7: A Genealogy of Gun Violence


The problem of gun violence is as old as guns themselves. According to historian Priya Satia, America’s present epidemic of gun violence has its roots in the industrial revolution. Satia tells the story of British gun-maker Samuel Galton, Jr., who was called to task by his Quaker community for manufacturing rifles. As a professed pacifist, Galton had to wrestle with the large-scale uses to which his weapons were put. So where do we look for answers about how to regulate guns? Some claim the answer has to lie in the past, in the nation’s founding documents. Others argue that novel technologies demand novel solutions. Solving the problem of gun violence may be a case where we need to make a strong modernity claim.

Researcher, writer, and episode producer: Christopher Nygren, Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture, University of Pittsburgh

Featured Scholars:

Special thanks: James DeMasi, Chloé Hogg, Jonathan Lyonhart, Pernille Røge, Jennifer Waldron, Catherine Yanko.

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Zachary Davis is the host of Ministry of Ideas and Writ Large and the Editor-in-Chief of Radiant.

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