The 2023 Program
July 31st - August 11th, 2023
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
Denial, Memory, Museum and Representation
Destruction by attrition
International law and genocide
Methods and strategies to help prevent genocide
The 2022 Syllabus (2023 Coming Soon)
Snapshot of the 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.
Students will be expected to prepare a ten-minute oral presentation to present to the class at the end of the course. More details will be provided in the syllabus and by the Course Director at the start of the program.
All required readings will be provided to students at no additional cost.
Meet Our Faculty (subject to change)
Northern Arizona University
Dr. Alex Alvarez is a Professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northern Arizona University. 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. Some of his books include 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, Unstable 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, now known as Genocide Studies International, 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.
Prof. Alvarez is the Vice Chair of the Zoryan Institute's Academic Board of Directors.
Course Director, New York University
Joyce Apsel Ph.D., J.D., is Clinical Professor of Humanities in Liberal Studies, College of Arts & Sciences at New York University, and President of the Institute for Study of Genocide.
Based on her research interests in comparative genocide and human rights, she teaches seminars in the Politics, Rights and Development Concentration. Course subjects include: Human Rights, Cultures of Peace and Terror, Global Violence, Societies at Risk, Politics of Mass Hate and Genocide, and Re-thinking, Human Rights, 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 targeted violence past and present---in the Ukraine to Chechnya to Darfur as well as structural violence in the US and elsewhere. Students have the opportunity to research their own interests; recent projects and senior theses include: Child Soldiers, HIV/AIDs and the Globalization of Drugs, Photography and Atrocity, Female Slave Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe to aspects of the Indigenous Peoples and Slavery and the Global Migrant Crisis. 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. She is a recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award and of the student nominated NYU Martin Luther King, Jr. Teaching Award (2022).
Joyce Apsel is the author of Introducing Peace Museums (2016), nominated for the 2017 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in non-fiction. She is also the co-author with Amy Sodaro of Museums and Sites of Persuasion: Politics, Memory, and Human Rights (2019) and co-editor with Ernesto Verdeja of Genocide Matters: Ongoing Issues and Emerging Perspectives (2013).
University of Toronto
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 German 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.
University of Calgary
Maureen S. Hiebert is Associate Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Military, Security & Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto and teaches courses in genocide studies, comparative and international law and politics, and the laws of armed conflict. Her publications include the recent book Constructing Genocide and Mass Violence: Society, Crises, Identity and several articles and book chapters on identity construction and elite decision-making in genocide, impediments to genocide prevention, Mass Atrocity Response military operations, the limitations of international criminal trials, and the nature of violence in modernity. She is a co-editor of the journal Genocide Studies International and is currently a member of the academic boards of the University of Calgary Press, the Zoryan Institute, and the International Council of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem. She is a former director of the University of Calgary undergraduate International Relations Program and the graduate program at the Centre for Military, Security & Strategic Studies. She is the 2019-2020 recipient of the Faculty of Graduate Studies Great Supervisor Award for the Department of Political Science.
Prof. Hiebert is the Co-Chair of the Zoryan Institute's Academic Board of Directors.
Elisa von Joeden-Forgey
Keene State College
Prof Elisa von Joeden-Forgey is an Associate Professor in the Department of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College starting September 2020.
Previously, Elisa von Joeden-Forgey was the Dr. Marsha Raticoff Grossman Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Stockton University of New Jersey, where she taught 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 Ph.D. 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 faculty research and teaching committee on the subject of sexualized violence on campuses in a global framework.
Anastasia Leshchyshyn is a PhD Student at McGill University in the Department of Political Science. She holds an MA in European and Russian Affairs (Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto) and a BA in History, Political Science, and Classical Civilization (University of Toronto). Her research interests include the rule of law, judicial reform, and memory politics in the post-communist region, and notably Ukraine. She was formerly a Research Associate at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (University of Alberta), in the division dedicated to the study of the Holodomor, the man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine of 1932-33.
Yerevan State University
Suren Manukyan is the Head of the Vahakn Dadrian Department of Comparative Genocide Studies with the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI) and holds the UNESCO Chair on Prevention of Genocide and Other Atrocity Crimes at Yerevan State University (YSU). He also teaches Armenian History and Genocide-related courses at the American University of Armenia (AUA). He was a Fulbright Scholar at the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University of New Jersey (2012-2013) and Kazan Visiting Fellow at California State University, Fresno (2021-22). He has extensive experience with the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), including as a member of the IAGS Resolutions committee (2015-2017) and an elected member of the Advisory Board (2017-2019 and 2019-2021). His research deals with genocidal violence and perpetrators, focusing mainly on micro-level dynamics and the historiography of genocide. His last publication is Suren Manukyan, The historiography of the Armenian genocide, Handbook of Genocide Studies (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2023) 54-71.
William A. Schabas
Professor William A. Schabas is professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. He is also professor of international humanitarian 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.
Borough of Manhattan Community College
Amy Sodaro is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Borough of Manhattan Community College/City University of New York. Her research focuses on memory and memorialization of violence and atrocity. She has published articles on memorial museums, including the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the House of Terror in Budapest, the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center in Rwanda and the 9/11 Museum. She is co-editor of Memory and the Future: Transnational Politics, Ethics and Culture (Palgrave Macmillan 2010), a special issue of WSQ “At Sea” (2017) and Museums and Sites of Persuasion: Memory, Politics and Human Rights (Routledge, 2019), and author of Exhibiting Atrocity: Memorial Museums and the Politics of Past Violence (Rutgers University Press, 2018). She is currently working on a book about race and memory in US museums.
University of California-Berkeley
Scott Straus is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California-Berkeley who studies political violence, genocide, human rights, and post-conflict politics with an empirical focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Cornell, 2015), which won the Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order. Straus also wrote The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War (Cornell, 2006), which won the Best Book in Political Science from the Association of American Publishers. He also authored Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2016). Straus has published articles in American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Politics and Society, Foreign Affairs, Perspectives on Politics, African Affairs, Journal of Peace Research, Terrorism and Political Violence, Genocide Studies and Prevention, The Journal of Genocide Research, and other journals. Straus also serves as the co-editor, with Michel Wieviorka, of the Paris-based journal Violence: An International Journal and of the Critical Human Rights book series at the University of Wisconsin Press, alongside Tyrell Haberkorn. In 2016, President Obama appointed him to the Council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Straus continues to serve on the Museum’s Committee on Conscience. Prior to his academic career, Straus was a freelance journalist based in Nairobi; he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his 1996 coverage of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
University of Manitoba
Andrew Woolford is a Professor of Sociology & Criminology and former president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Much of his current research is centred in the field of genocide studies, with specific emphasis on cultural techniques of group destruction deployed against 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). However, he also maintains broad interests in the fields of Sociology, Socio-Legal Studies, and Criminology.
Another research project has further expanded his scholarly boundaries and brought him into contact with new fields and themes: representation, empathy, affect, and human-computer interaction, to name but a few. This is a project built upon decolonizing/unsettling and community-led research principles through which his team 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. He is also working with Survivors from the Assiniboia Residential School to advance public knowledge about and commemoration of their former school, which was located in the River Heights Neighbourhood of Winnipeg. He has most recently undertaken a project titled “Symbiotic Destruction: Genocide, Human Groups, and the Natural World”, which examines human and other-than-human relations in the context of genocide.
University of Toronto
Cheng Xu is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto and the Cadieux-Léger Fellow at Global Affairs Canada. He is also a former Canadian Armed Forces infantry officer and paratrooper as well as Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholar whose doctoral thesis aims to develop a theory of the impacts of social relations on insurgent mobilization and civil war duration and outcomes. His latest publications include an examination of insurgent fragmentation in Southern Philippines in Third World Quarterly, the debates surrounding liberal peacebuilding in International Journal, and theories of genocide in Genocide Studies International. His research interests include insurgency movements, civil wars, mass political violence, and genocide. Cheng is a graduate of the Genocide and Human Rights University Program.
Chinese University of Hong Kong
Ruslan Yusupov is an Academy Scholar at the Weatherhead Center for International and Area Studies at Harvard University. His research interests lie in the field of sociocultural anthropology with a geographical focus on Islam and Muslim communities in China. His current book manuscript project examines how Chinese Muslims engage in social outreach and volunteering as a way to imagine a place for themselves and for Islam in securitizing Chinese modernity. His is also doing research on ethnic relations and predations in the context of the Uyghur crisis in Xinjiang.
James E. Waller
Keene State College
Dr. James Waller is the Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and chair of that same department, at Keene State College (NH-US). In addition, he serves as Director of Academic Programs for the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities, an international NGO devoted to atrocity prevention. He is the author of five books, most notably his award-winning Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2007) and Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide (Oxford University Press, 2016). His sixth book, A Troubled Sleep: Risk and Resilience in Contemporary Northern Ireland, is scheduled for release by Oxford University Press in April 2021. Waller has held numerous visiting professorships, most recently as an honorary visiting research professor at in the George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Justice and Security at Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland (2017). In 2017, he was the inaugural recipient of the Engaged Scholarship Prize from the International Association of Genocide Scholars in recognition of his exemplary engagement in advancing genocide awareness and prevention.