History | Genocide in the Modern World
W300 | 2640 | McMahon-O'Neill, Sheehan, Weaver


MW 2:30P-3:45P BH244,.

A portion of the above section reserved for majors. Above section open to
undergraduates only

In 1944 Raphael Lemkin coined the term "genocide" to describe Nazi
German's attempt to exterminate all Jews.  Lemkin found Hitler's Final
Solution so uniquely atrocious that his vocabulary contained no word with
which to label it.  Yet, since 1944, historians, sociologists,
statespersons, and activists have labeled many contemporary and historical
events as genocide.

Using a comparative historical approach, we will explore six case studies
of genocidal events: the conquest of the Americas by European explorers
and settlers, the African slave trade, the Armenian massacres, the Nazi
Holocaust, the Cambodian Killing Fields, and the current unrest in Rwanda
and Burundi.

Though organized chronologically and geographically, this course will be
linked together by four themes.  Our objective is to identify, explore,
and understand each of these themes through our six case studies.

1)Genocide's uniqueness to the post-World-War-II world  2)Understanding
genocide's causes and constructs  3)Punishing and stopping genocide
4)Remembering and coping with genocide

Course Readings will include:Robert Melson  Revolution and
GenocideChristopher Browning  Ordinary MenUsha Welaratna  Beyond the
Killing FieldsCorrine Vanderwerff  Kill Thy Neighbor, miscellaneous
readings from a course packet.

Students will be evaluated and graded on their ability to critically
discuss course themes through written assignments.  These assignments will
include:  - two in-class written examinations  - two 2-3 page take home
essays  - a 10-15 page term paper based on the student's own interests and
research.