Genocide in the Modern World [F-18-33]

Presenter: Elun Gabriel
Location: SLU: Carnegie 10
Classes: 3 Sessions 1.5 hours
Dates: Thu 2:30 PM 10/25, 11/01, 11/08

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The twentieth century saw mass violence on a scale unprecedented in human history. Among the most horrifying forms this violence took was the attempt to systematically exterminate whole religious, ethnic, and national groups – an act which Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide” to describe. In this course, we will briefly examine individual historical cases of genocide and mass violence. Also, we will consider theoretical approaches that seek to explain its nature and causes. Some questions we will explore include: What kinds of institutions, technologies, and ideas allowed the perpetration of genocide in the twentieth century? How is genocide different from other forms of mass violence, such as imperial exploitation, pogroms, and “ethnic cleansing”? How can we understand the actions of genocide’s perpetrators and the responses of its victims? Why have major powers repeatedly failed to intervene to halt acts of genocide?

Elun Gabriel is a Professor of Modern European History at St. Lawrence University. His scholarly research focuses on Germany from 1871-1918. He teaches courses on 19th c. Europe, 20th c. Europe, Women in Modern Europe, World War I, the Holocaust, and Genocide, among others. He became interested in teaching a course on genocide as he reflected on the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide in 2004 and his own lack of awareness of the genocide at the time that it was occurring.

NOTE: Presenter’s suggested readings for those interested in knowing more about the topic. Find these at: go to COURSES, and then to “Genocide…”

CAP: 40

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