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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Genocide in Contemporary History (PGHC11407)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course seeks to establish an historical understanding of genocide, informed by the theoretical and multi-disciplinary approaches that have so shaped the field of genocide studies. The cases are chosen from the record of contemporary history all come from the post-1914 period and all bar one from after the beginning of the Second World War. Students will emerge from the course being able to think comparatively and conceptually about genocide as well as about individual cases of it and connections between different cases. They will interrogate the utility and problems of the very concept itself. They will also study responses to genocide in the form of 'humanitarian intervention' and war crimes trials. The cases will be drawn from across the world: Asia, Africa, Europe, and Australasia, with perpetrators ranging from imperialist powers to fascists, communists, nation-state builders, 'developmentalists' and counter-insurgency fighters, and 'enablers' ranging from structural features of the international political economy to regional and world powers and the contours of the Cold War.
Course description *Note that this is only provisional*
1: Problematising 'genocide' - course introduction and consideration of the UN genocide convention
2: The Holocaust: a paradigm of genocide or the wrong yardstick?
3: Genocide in the First World War: the Ottoman case
3: East Pakistan
4: Cambodia
6: The Rwandan genocide and the Great Lakes region of Africa
7: Feedback and Feedforward
8: Theories of Genocide compared
9: Looking at individual perpetrators
10: The global power system: explaining Intervention and non-Intervention
11: Looking forwards: the prospects for prevention, intervention, and punishment, and the threat of global warming
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students will be required to submit an individual essay of 3,000 4,000 words. The essay will count for 100% of the mark
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
Students who complete the course successfully will have demonstrated, by way of written coursework as well as participation in seminar discussion:

- knowledge and understanding of key patterns, events, concepts and themes in the contemporary history of genocide and related atrocities, including responses to those events
- understanding of the issues around the relationship between modernity and genocide
- an ability to distinguish critically between the particular and the general
- an ability to develop the tools for broader comparative analysis
- an ability to research for appropriate materials and weigh up the merits of pieces of historical evidence
- an ability to develop and sustain coherent intellectual argument
Reading List
Donald Bloxham and A Dirk Moses (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies (Oxford University Press, 2010)
Dan Stone (ed.) The Historiography of Genocide (Palgrave, 2008)
Adam Jones, Genocide, A Comprehensive Introduction, (2nd edition, London, Routledge, 2010)
Mark Levene, The Meaning of Genocide (Tauris, 2005)
Leo Kuper, Genocide, Its Political Use in the Twentieth Century (London, 1981)
Alain Destexhe, Rwanda and Genocide in the Twentieth Century (London, West Haven CT, 1995)
Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, The History and Sociology of Genocide,(Yale, 1990)
Eric D. Weitz, A Century of Genocide, Utopias of Race and Nation (Princeton and Oxford, 2003)
RC Ben Kiernan and Robert Gellately, eds., The Spectre of Genocide : Mass Murder in Historical Perspective (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
Michael Mann, The Dark Side of Democracy, Explaining Ethnic Cleansing (CUP, 2005)
A.L. Hinton, Genocide, An Anthropological Reader (Oxford, 2001)
idem., Annihilating Difference, The Anthropology of Genocide (University of California Press, 2002)
Samuel Totton and Paul Bartrop, The Genocide Studies Reader(Routledge, 2009).
Manus Midlarsky, The Killing Trap, Genocide in the 20th Century (CUP, 2005)
Benjamin Valentino, Final Solutions, Mass Killing and Genocide in the 20th century (Cornell UP, 2004)
Gil Eliot, Twentieth Century Book of the Dead (Penguin, 1972)
Irving Louis Horowitz, Taking Lives, Genocide and State Power (1997)
Israel Charny, Genocide, A Critical Bibliographic Review , 3 volumes(1988 -1994)
Antony Giddens, The Nation-State and Violence (1985)
Barbara Harff and Ted Robert Gurr, 'Victims of the State: Genocides, Politicides and Group Repression from 1945 to 1995,' in Albert J. Jongman, ed., Contemporary Genocides: Causes, Cases, Consequences (1996). Also Ethnic Conflict in World Politics (1994)
Helen Fein, 'Accounting for Genocide since 1945: Theories and some Findings' International Journal on Group Rights 1(1993) 79-106. (ML copy)
Ben Kiernan, Blood and Soil, A World History of Genocide (Yale, 2007)
A. Dirk Moses ed., Empire, Colony, Genocide, Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (Berghahn, 2008)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - enhanced abilities in research, critical thinking, weighing up of arguments and evidence
- production of innovative research pieces that adhere to bibliographical convention
- skills in presenting information and arguments to fellow students / lecturer in class
- enhanced writing skills
KeywordsGenocide Contemporary History
Course organiserProf Donald Bloxham
Tel: (0131 6)50 3757
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
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