CRS:Politics of Violence
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Division: University-wide Programs
Department: Global Studies
Course Number: UGLB 3730
Course Format: Seminar
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
- Global Studies
- Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
- Social Justice
In the wake of World War II, the term ‘genocide’ was coined to describe the Nazi extermination of European Jews. World leaders vowed such violence would happen “never again,” however genocide continues to occur at an alarming rate with inaction proving the norm. As a result, genocide prevention has proven to be one of the most daunting political challenges of modern times. Building on the Rwanda summer 2013 experience abroad, this required supplementary course for all participants provides the opportunity to explore the puzzle of inaction by studying genocide from a comparative perspective. The course begins by considering the concept of genocide from a theoretical perspective and draws on political theory and sociology to understand reasons for political inaction in the midst of unfolding mass atrocity. The second part of the course focuses on empirical cases of 20th century genocides in Namibia, Cambodia, Rwanda, the former Yugoslavia and Darfur. Students will explore the dimensions of genocide, including the roles and relationships of perpetrators and victims, the potential and limits of justice, restitution and forgiveness, the political and ethical uses of remembering and forgetting, and questions of intervention and prevention. Readings will include an array of theoretical texts, historical accounts, memoir, interviews, biography, and news clippings among others. Films and guest speakers from international organizations working on genocide prevention campaigns supplement the course. In addition to seminar meetings, students will work collaboratively to design an original intervention aimed at raising awareness regarding a historical or current instance of genocide. The exact format of this intervention will be decided by the group but may include an advocacy campaign, anti-genocide curriculum for high school or university students, or public event commemorating International Human Rights Day.
Open to Undergraduate students.