Snapshot of the Syllabus 

The 2020 Program

August 3 - 14, 2020

This two-week course provides participants with the intellectual framework for understanding the numerous, complex and often emotional issues related to genocide. An examination of several major cases of genocide provides the foundation for comparative analysis, along with the exploration of selected broad themes. The specific case studies and special themes may vary from year to year.


Using a seminar approach, the program provides a structured forum for analyzing universal questions relating to human rights and their gross violation. Students will gain an understanding of the following:


  • The development and meaning of Human Rights and their relationship to genocide.

  • The background, sources, causes and effects of genocide.

  • How to recognize, define and predict genocide.

  • The social, economic and psychological impact on survivors and their descendants.

  • Gender and genocide.

  • Destruction by attrition.

  • Genocide denial.

  • International law and genocide.

  • Methods and strategies to help prevent genocide

The 2019 Syllabus

Taking the Program for Credit

Many universities will give graduate-level credit for participating in the GHRUP. In this case, students must approach a professor at their university with the syllabus and faculty biographies for approval as an “independent study” or “directed reading” course. It is critical that participants who would like university credit for the course inform the organizers at the time of applying, and not after the fact. Credit is subject to approval by your university and must be authorized in advance. Be sure to discuss the options and the process with IIGHRS staff before starting the program.

Marks for students taking the course for credit will be graded on the following criteria. Class participation will be worth 25%, and a ten-minute oral presentation to the class at the end of the course will likewise be worth 25% of the final mark. A research paper, approximately 15-20 pages in length, double-spaced, must be handed in to the GHRUP’s Course Director not later than two months after the end of the course and will count for 50% of the final mark. The subject of the research paper must be approved in advance by the Course Director and the professor at the student’s home institution. Other formats for the final paper may be possible, upon consultation with the Course Director and the professor at the student’s home institution.


The Course Director will work cooperatively with the student’s home institution to ensure that the full report on the student’s performance in class, his or her formal presentation, and the evaluation of the term paper, will be provided to the faculty member at the student’s home institution who is supervising the independent studies course for the applicant. Although the Course Director will recommend a final grade, only the supervisor can assign the official grade, and the institution the number of academic credits for the course. Grading will be based on the quality of the research and analysis in the written work, including handling of sources, critical thought about their use and application, and some indication of a comparative approach. Participants in the program who are teachers or graduate students in education can submit a curriculum with strategies.


All required readings will be provided to students at no additional cost. Students may find it beneficial to read the following text, which may be obtained from their library or favourite bookseller in print or e-book format:

Adam Jones, Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. Third edition. London and New York: Routledge, 2017

Evaluation of Students

Meet Our 2020 Faculty

Alex Alvarez

Dr. Alex Alvarez is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. From 2001 until 2003 he was the founding Director of the Martin-Springer Institute for Teaching the Holocaust, Tolerance, and Humanitarian Values. In 2017-2018, he served as the Ida E. King Distinguished Visiting Scholar in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University. His main areas of study are in the areas of collective and interpersonal violence. His books include Governments, Citizens, and Genocide(2001), Murder American Style (2002), Violence: The Enduring Problem(2007, 2013 2nded., 2017 3rded.), Genocidal Crimes(2009), and Native America and the Question of Genocide(2014). His most recent book, Unsteady Ground: Climate Change, Conflict, and Genocide was published in July 2017. He has also served as an editor for the journal Violence and Victims, was a founding co-editor of the journal Genocide Studies and Prevention, and has served as an editorial board member for a number of journals. He has been invited to speak and present his research in various countries such as Austria, Bosnia, Canada, England, Germany, Lithuania, the Netherlands, and Sweden. 


Joyce Apsel

Joyce Apsel Ph.D., J.D., is Clinical Professor of Humanities in the Liberal Studies Program of the College of Arts & Sciences at New York University. Joyce Apsel teaches in a unique learning environment where students explore and debate the ideas in great works from different societies and cultures including the Bible and Qur’an to Plato, Confucius and Machiavelli.


Based on her research interests in comparative genocide and human rights, she teaches seminars in the Politics, Rights and Development Concentration. Course subjects taught include: Human Rights, Cultures of Peace and Terror, Societies at Risk, the Politics of Mass Hate and Genocide and Challenges of Humanitarianism, and Global Citizenship. Together, in small classes, her students read about and debate the history and politics of just and unjust wars, the role of non-governmental organizations and the complex challenges of addressing current mass violence from Chechnya to Darfur. Students have the opportunity to research their own interests; and some recent student projects include: Child Soldiers, HIV/AIDs and the Globalization of Drugs, Photography and Atrocity, and Female Slave Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Beside encouraging students to attend lectures on human rights issues at NYU; there are class visits to the United Nations and other sites in New York City. As President of the Institute for Study of Genocide and Director of RightsWorks International, a human rights education initiative, Apsel also introduce students to human rights projects and speakers. Her goal is to explore diverse perspectives and critical analyses that facilitate each student finding his/her own voice and becoming informed, engaged, members of civil society and the global community.

Doris Bergen

Doris L. Bergen is the Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Professor of Holocaust Studies. Her research focuses on issues of religion, gender, and ethnicity in the Holocaust and World War II and comparatively in other cases of extreme violence. Her books include Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (1996); War and Genocide: A Concise History of the Holocaust (2003); The Sword of the Lord: Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Centuries (edited, 2004); and Lessons and Legacies VIII (edited, 2008).

Prof. Bergen has held grants and fellowships from the SSHRC, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the DAAD, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and she has taught at the Universities of Warsaw, Pristina, Tuzla, Notre Dame, and Vermont. Her current projects include a book on Germany military chaplains in the Nazi era and a study of definitions of Germanness as revealed in the Volksdeutschen/ethnic Germans of Eastern Europe during World War II and the Holocaust. Bergen is a member of the Academic Advisory Committee of the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U. S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington , D.C.

Elisa von Joeden-Forgey

Elisa von Joeden-Forgey is the Dr. Marsha Raticoff Grossman Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University of New Jersey, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on the Holocaust, comparative genocide, gender, sexual violence, war, human rights and genocide prevention. She was also the First Vice President of the IAGS. Prior to this she was a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in History from Columbia University and a PhD degree in modern German and African history from the University of Pennsylvania. Her dissertation, "Nobody's People: Colonial Subjects, Race Power and the German State, 1884-1945" examined the colonial roots of National Socialist ideology through the lens of the debates surrounding the African presence in Germany. 

Dr. von Joeden-Forgey has received research grants from the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Ford Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation, and has published widely in the fields of comparative genocide and German history. Her current research on gender and genocide has appeared in Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal, the Oxford Handbook on Genocide, New Directions in Genocide Research, Genocide: A Bibliographic Review, Hidden Genocide: Power, Knowledge and Memory, and the forthcoming collected volumes Reconstructing Atrocity Prevention and Economic Aspects of Genocide, Mass Killing, and Their Prevention. She is currently completing a book on gender and the prevention of genocide that will be published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. 

In 2010 and 2011 Dr. von Joeden-Forgey was a workshop coordinator for the Raphael Lemkin Program in Genocide Prevention hosted by the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation in Krakow and Oswiecim, Poland. In 2014 she was chosen as one of thirty-six scholars to join the Stephen S. Weinstein Symposium on Post-Holocaust Ethics at Wroxton College in Oxfordshire, England. At Stockton College she is working to develop a master's-level program in genocide prevention and is co-chairing a faculty research and teaching committee on the subject of sexualized violence on campuses in a global framework. 

Elisabeth King

Elisabeth King is Associate Professor of International Education and Politics at New York University and Founding Director of NYU’s interdisciplinary Peace and Conflict Studies program. Her research interests include peacebuilding, development, and education in ethnically diverse and conflict-affected contexts. King uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to develop scholarly research that can be used to inform social change. She is author of From Classrooms to Conflict in Rwanda (Cambridge University Press, 2014), named an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Libraries Association and earning her the Outstanding Canadians Leadership Award from the Ontario Social Sciences and History Teachers Association. She is currently co-authoring a new book entitled Diversity, Violence and Recognition. She is proud to have been a student in the GHRUP in 2007. Personal website:

Victoria Sanford

Victoria Sanford is professor and chair of anthropology and founding director of the Center for Human Rights and Peace Studies at Lehman College. She is a member of the anthropology doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She holds a doctorate in Anthropology from Stanford University where she studied International Human Rights Law and Immigration Law at Stanford Law School. She was a Bunting Peace Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, Harvard University.

She is the author of Buried Secrets: Truth and Human Rights in Guatemala  (2003), Violencia y Genocidio enGuatemala  (2003),  Guatemala: Del Genocidio al Feminicidio (2008),  La Masacre de Panzos: Etnicidad, Tierra y Violencia en Guatemala (2009), and co-author of the Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation's report to the Commission for Historical Clarification (the Guatemalan truth commission). She is co-editor (with Katerina Stefatos and Cecilia Salvi) of Gender Violence in Peace and War ~ States of Complicity (2016). She is also co-editor (with Asale Angel Ajani) of Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism (2008). In August of 2012, she served as an invited expert witness on the Guatemalan genocide before Judge Santiago Pedraz in the Spanish National Court’s international genocide case against the Guatemalan generals. She recently won the University of California Press Public Anthropology competition for her latest book project –The Surge~Central American Border Crossings in the United States, 1980-2015. She is currently completing Bittersweet Justice: Feminicide, Impunity & Courts of Last Resort. She is recipient of many awards including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, MacArthur Consortium Fellowship, United States Institute for Peace Fellowship, Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Fellowship and three Fulbright Fellowships, among others.

William A. Schabas OC MRIA

Professor William A. Schabas is professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. He is also professor of international human law and human rights at Leiden University, emeritus professor of human rights law at the National University of Ireland Galway and honorary chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights, invited visiting scholar at the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Politiques), honorary professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, visiting fellow of Kellogg College of the University of Oxford, and professeur associé at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Prof. Schabas is a ‘door tenant’ at the chambers of 9 Bedford Row, in London. 

Professor Schabas holds BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Toronto and LLB, LLM and LLD degrees from the University of Montreal, as well as honorary doctorates in law from several universities. He is the author of more than twenty books dealing in whole or in part with international human rights law, including: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights : travaux préparatoires (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013); Unimaginable Atrocities, Justice, Politics and Rights at the War Crimes Tribunals (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), The International Criminal Court: A Commentary on the Rome Statute (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), Introduction to the International Criminal Court (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, 4th ed.), Genocide in International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2009) and The Abolition of the Death Penalty in International Law (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 3rd ed.). He has also published more than 300 articles in academic journals, principally in the field of international human rights law and international criminal law. His writings have been translated into Russian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Nepali and Albanian. 

Professor Schabas is editor-in-chief of Criminal Law Forum , the quarterly journal of the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. He is President of the Irish Branch of the International Law Association and chair of the International Institute for Criminal Investigation. From 2002 to 2004 he served as one of three international members of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Professor Schabas has worked as a consultant on capital punishment for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, and drafted the 2010 report of the Secretary-General on the status of the death penalty (UN Doc. E/2010/10). 

Professor Schabas was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006. He was elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007. He has been awarded the Vespasian V. Pella Medal for International Criminal Justice of the Association internationale de droit pénal, and the Gold Medal in the Social Sciences of the Royal Irish Academy. .

George Shirinian

George Shirinian is the Executive Director of the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (A Division of the Zoryan Institute), which is devoted to research, publication and education in the fields of Genocide Studies, Diaspora Studies and Armenia Studies.


He is an official of the journal Genocide Studies International (University of Toronto Press), and one of the organizers of the annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program, run in partnership with the University of Toronto.


He is the author of articles on the Armenian Genocide, a contributor to The Armenian Genocide: The Essential Reference Guide (ABC-CLIO 2015), co-editor of Studies in Comparative Genocide (Macmillan 1999) and editor of The Asia Minor Catastrophe and the Ottoman Greek Genocide: Essays on Asia Minor, Pontos and Eastern Thrace, 1913-1923 (The Asia Minor and Pontos Hellenic Research Center 2012), and Genocide in the Ottoman Empire: Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, 1913-1923 (Berghahn Books 2017).

Uğur Ümit Üngör

Uğur Ümit Üngör is Associate Professor at the Department of History at Utrecht University and Research Fellow at the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam. His main areas of interest are state formation and nation formation, with a particular focus on mass violence. His most recent publications include Genocide: New Perspectives on its Causes, Courses and Consequences (Amsterdam University Press, 2016, ed.), Confiscation and Destruction: The Young Turk Seizure of Armenian Property (Continuum, 2011) and the award-winning The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913-1950 (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is an editor of the Journal of Perpetrator Research, and coordinator of the Syrian Oral History project at NIOD. He is currently finishing an NWO-funded research project on paramilitarism and completing the monograph Paramilitarism: Mass Violence in the Shadow of the State (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2019).

Andrew Woolford

Andrew Woolford, PhD, is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. He also served as the President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) from 2015-2017.


Woolford's current research is centred in the field of genocide studies, with specific emphasis on cultural techniques of group destruction as experienced by Indigenous Peoples in North America.  This focus is best reflected in his 2015 book, “This Benevolent Experiment”: Indigenous Boarding Schools, Genocide and Redress in North America (University of Nebraska Press and the University of Manitoba Press).He also maintains broad interests in the fields of Sociology, Socio-Legal Studies, and Criminology.


His latest research project is built upon decolonizing/unsettling and community-led research principles through which we will design, build and test a virtual Indian Residential School to analyze the educational and empathy-inducing potential of contemporary forms of virtual and augmented reality technology. Woolford is also working with Survivors from the Assiniboia Residential School to advance public knowledge about the commemoration of their former school, which was located in the River Heights Neighbourhood of Winnipeg. 




Please reload

Application Deadline: April 30, 2020

Registration is open on January 2, 2020

255 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 310 
Toronto, ON M3B 3H9 Canada

1 416 250 9807

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
Send Us a Message

© 2017 by IIGHRS. Proudly created with