Hate Studies is an international interdisciplinary field that brings together scholars, academic researchers, practitioner-experts, human rights leaders, policymakers, NGO/INGO leaders, and many others. Hate Studies responds to a call to gather the wisdom from academic fields throughout the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, education, and other areas, and to bring it into conversation and practical application in law and policy, civil society organizations, and elsewhere.
As a working definition, Hate Studies inquires into the human capacity to "define, and then demonize or dehumanize an 'other,' and the processes that inform and give expression to, or can curtail, control, or combat, that capacity." (Stern, 2004). Hate Studies seeks to understand and appropriately address the multifaceted phenomena and factors of hatred, which occur at individual, collective, institutional, and societal levels, by cross-pollinating and integrating all disciplines that have something valuable to say about hatred and pulling them together into a larger academic enterprise.
The vision and momentum for Hate Studies grew out of efforts initiated and hosted by the Gonzaga University Institute for Hate Studies, which was founded in 1997. Gonzaga University, a Jesuit Catholic institution located in Spokane, Washington (USA), hosted the "First International Conference to Establish the Field of Hate Studies" in March 2004.
The Gonzaga Institute for Hate Studies was the world's first academic unit devoted to this emerging field, and today the Gonzaga Institute organizes the International Conference on Hate Studies and publishes the peer-review scholarly Journal of Hate Studies. It has hosted three "International Conferences on Hate Studies" (2004, 2011, 2013), and has also published 10 annual volumes of the Journal of Hate Studies; Volumes 11 and 12 are due for publication in 2014-15. In addition, the Gonzaga Institute hosts speaker series, visiting fellows, and special academic events in cities worldwide; supports research and courses on hate and directly related social problems; and serves as a nexus hub for this growing field.
As of 2013, there is an "International Network for Hate Studies," which is based in the European Union and boasts significant participation within the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Commonwealth Countries, and other nations and regions. The Network members primarily focus on hate crime and related issues of hate and victimization in multicultural societies. The Network hosted its inaugural conference in May 2014, at the University of Sussex School of Law. Also in 2014, the University of Leicester launched a brand-new "Centre for Hate Studies," which grew out of the "Leicester Hate Crime Project," and Palgrave Macmillan announced the "Palgrave Hate Studies Series".