This course will allow students to critically engage with the term and the reality of genocide. Students will learn how the term came to be, when it has and has not been used, and will engage with case studies to deepen their understanding. The class will be predominantly discussion-based, supplemented by using Samantha Power’s Pulitizer Prize winning book “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” as well as other readings and documentaries in the field of genocide. Throughout the DeCal we will focus on different themes around genocide in order to gain a deeper understanding of the different case studies and how to prevent such atrocities from happening in the future. Emphasis will be placed on modern genocides, genocides studies, genocide prevention/intervention, and the crime of genocide and R2P under international law.
This DeCal will consist of weekly class sessions involving lectures and active
discussions, which will be supplemented by other materials, such as documentaries and readings, for
enhanced understanding. Student participation through discussions and assignments are essential for
success in this course. Lecture and discussions will take place for 1.5 hours a week. In addition to
participating in sessions, students are expected to review the assigned readings and materials before
the relevant session. Throughout the course, students will interact in debates and group activities
based on readings and lectures. The class will operate each week covering a different genocide and
will use that particular genocide to explore and analyze the themes involved in broader genocide
discourse. The factually sponsor will assist the student facilitators with any questions pertaining to
teaching materials. The facilitators will remain in frequent contact with the faculty sponsor regarding
course planning, curriculum, scheduling and guest speakers.
In accordance with the Political Science Department’s policy, students are only allowed
to miss two class sessions given the importance of interactive, in-class discussions. Any further
unexcused absences will result in NP. That said, if a student encounters a family or medical
emergency and provides the appropriate documentation to the facilitators, arrangements can be
made for the student to complete an alternative assignment.