Understanding Genocide: Advances and Challenges in the Study of Mass Extermination


Location: Hesburgh Center Auditorium

Public Talk and Reception:
“Understanding Genocide: Advances and Challenges in the Study of Mass Extermination”


  • Joyce Apsel
President, Institute for the Study of Genocide, New York University
  • Alex Hinton
Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide, Conflict Resolution and Human Rights, State University of New Jersey, Rutgers-Newark
  • Paul Williams
Associate Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University
  • Ernesto Verdeja
Assistant Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame

In the aftermath of the Rwandan and Bosnian genocides, scholars and policymakers focused their attention on the causes and prevention of large-scale atrocities. Over the past 15 years, this work has contributed to the emergence of an interdisciplinary field of genocide studies. Given new developments and scholarly work, the field of genocide studies is in need of a general analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, and areas for further research. Professors Apsel, Hinton, Williams and Verdeja will discuss the state of the field, including advances and challenges.

A reception will follow the lecture.

Free and open to the public.

This public lecture marks the beginning of a two-day symposium (by invitation only) at the Kroc Institute that aims to promote dialogue among scholars of genocide about the current state of comparative genocide research and to advance thinking about the field’s potential theoretical and practical contributions to genocide awareness, education, detection, and prevention.

About the panelists:
Joyce Apsel teaches in the Global Liberal Studies Program at New York University. She was president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and is Director of RightsWorks, an international education project on genocide and human rights. Her works include: “The Complexity of Genocide in Darfur: Historical Perspective and Ongoing Processes of Destruction“; Museums for Peace: Past, Present and Future; Darfur: Genocide Before our Eyes; Teaching about Human Rights and Teaching about Genocide.

Alex Hinton’s books include: Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation; Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide (winner of the 2008 Stirling Award for Best Published Work in Psychological Anthropology); Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide; Genocide: An Anthropological Reader; and Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions.

Paul Williams is Associate Professor and Associate Director of Security Policy Studies MA Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University. He is the author of War and Conflict in Africa; British Foreign Policy under New Labour, 1997-2005; coauthor of Understanding Peacekeeping; editor of Security Studies: An Introduction; co-editor of The International Politics of Mass Atrocities: The Case of Darfur; Africa in International Politics; and Peace Operations and Global Order.

Ernesto Verdeja is author of Unchopping A Tree: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Political Violence. His articles have appeared in Constellations, Review of Politics, Res Publica, Metaphilosophy, Contemporary Political Theory, The European Journal of Political Theory, and Contemporary Politics.

This talk and workshop is made possible through the generous support of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, and the Office of Research.