History of Genocide from Rome to Rwanda
Next lecture: Stalinist Terror.
The lectures will trace the ideological foundations and historical evolution of genocide from antiquity to the late 20th century. While the initial focus will be on Europe and/or European-driven genocide, for the 19th and 20th centuries, American, Asian and African cases will also be considered. The Shoah will be given special attention, due to its centrality (and historically unique status) within Genocide Studies. We will relate cases to the benchmark definition in the UN Convention on Genocide. We will engage with different and divergent scholarly definitions of genocide, i.e. the “bounding of genocide.” We will acquire a solid understanding of the ideological underpinnings of genocide and be able to analyze in how far each case fulfills – or deviates from – the fundamental determining criteria of agrarianism, racism, territorial expansionism, and the cult of antiquity.
We will examine the following major incidences of genocide throughout history, and how they are related ideologically: Sparta and Rome (Carthage); 16C Spanish Conquistà and the English in Ireland; Colonial and 19C Native American; 19C Australian aboriginal; 19C European in Africa (Algeria and Namibia); 20C Armenian, Hitlerian, Stalinist, Maoist, Khmer Rouge, Rwandan.