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Course, academic year 2015/2016
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Genocide Studies and Massive Violence - RET8059
Title in English: Genocide Studies and Massive Violence
Guaranteed by: Department of Religious Studies (27-R)
Faculty: Protestant Theological Faculty
Actual: from 2015 to 2015
Semester: winter
Points: 6
E-Credits: 6
Examination process: winter s.:
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:1/1 C(+Ex) [hours/week]
Capacity: unknown / unknown (unknown)Schedule is not published yet, this information might be misleading.
Min. number of students: unlimited
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Teaching methods: full-time
Level:  
Note: course can be enrolled in outside the study plan
enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: prof. Pavel Hošek, Ph.D.
doc. Jindřich Halama, Dr.
Paul A. Levine
Schedule   
Annotation
Last update: Mgr. Věra Fritzová (10.06.2015)
Genocide, the extermination of one group of people by another group or nation, has long been part of
human history. To study genocide, its commission and consequences, is to explore an essential and tragic
element of human society and behavior. Fundamental to the commission of genocide is the element of choice. As
we understand genocide, we understand that the individual chooses to become a genocidaire.

There are many elements which motivate genocidal behavior. The motivation for committing genocide is related to
central elements of society such as history, politics, economics, sociology, ethics, religion and even theologies
and ideologies. Genocide is always a collective act, but it is also closely related to issues of individual identity.

Crucially, it is impossible to understand the significance of the European Union without understanding the
Holocaust and other genocides of the 20th century. Prevention of genocide and respect for the human and civil
rights of all individuals are one of the fundamental aims of democratic institutions in today’s world. This is why
we study genocide.

Through the study and exploration of the different genocides of the 20th century a big step is taken
towards understanding the state of world politics, religion and society in the early 21st century—our world today.

The course Genocide Studies and Massive Violence, is a unique and progressive course—the first of its kind at
Charles University, the Czech Republic and in Central and Eastern Europe. It is a flexible course available to both
undergraduate students and MA candidates from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to history,
political science, religious studies, psychology, theology, cultural anthropology, sociology, philosophy or law.

Course requirements will differ for both levels. Details of these differences will be provided on request.

When you successfully complete this course you will be equipped with much essential knowledge and study
skills. One can only study genocide by looking critically at society. Through the study of the tragic phenomenon of
genocide, one compares—internationally, comparatively and theoretically, you will also see how these crimes
against humanity are represented in a variety of media and art, including cinema, memorials both permanent and
temporary, and more. The course will also examine how this subject can be taught at different educational levels,
from secondary school through university, including how teachers should approach the subject with their students.

After completing the course, you will have extensive knowledge about some of the most important cases of history,
genocide and massive violence which have impacted the world today. Prominently, these include the continent-
wide Nazi genocide of European Jewry, the massive murder of the Roma and Sinti people, the genocide of
Armenians and other minorities by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War, the more recent genocides in
Cambodia and Rwanda, and other episodes of massive violence such as Bosnia in the 1990’s, Darfur in
Sudan, East Timor and occasions of massive violence in the post- Soviet empire. To explore the Holodomor, the
mass starvation of Ukrainians, provides much understanding of the current crisis there today.

Course participants will obtain knowledge about the causes and motivations for genocide. Discussions will focus
on how both nations and individuals remember and commemorate the unforgettable violence conducted
by participants upon the victims.

The course is highly inter-disciplinary. International scholars will give lectures and engage in close discussion with
course participants. Genocide Studies is a cutting-edge discipline which provides deep insight into many
perspectives. Originating in North America out of Holocaust Studies, today Genocide Studies is new to the
Czech Republic and Europe. The course will be taught in English.
Syllabus
Last update: MORAVEC (17.09.2015)
Course will be held on Wednesdays from 15,10 to 16,40 at the Protestant Theological Faculty, Černá 9, Praha 1, 1st floor, room No. 101 ("Velká posluchárna"). The beginning is on Wed 7th October.

Overview of lessons:

  • Introduction to Genocide Studies-Over-Arching Themes, Issues, Problems and Interpretations; General Theories

  • The Holocaust; Is the Holocaust the ‘paradigmatic’ genocide? What are its Legacies in present-day Europe & the World?

  • The History and Memory of the Genocide of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians in the Ottoman Empire; Political, Social and Economic Continuities and Discontinuities.

  • Causes, Motivations and Consequences of Genocide: Early Psychological Development and Perceptions of ‘the Other’ and the Psychology of Massive Violence; a first attempt to understand, analyze and summarize

  • Nationalism and Extremism as Causes and Motivation of Genocide and Massive Violence

  • The Nazi Genocide of the Roma and Sinti: Empirical Data and Interpretations

  • Religion, Genocide, Ethics and Theology; Perspectives and Significance

  • Comparative Histories and Memories of Genocide; the cases of Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and East Timor

  • Histories and Memories of Genocidal Violence in post-Soviet Republics

  • On Representation and Teaching About Genocide -How, when, to whom, with what amount of training? Can“tolerance” be taught? How Different Genocides Are Represented (the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide and the Nanjing Massacre)

  • Summing Up-What has been learned, what still confuses, what needs to be considered? Is genocide in the future preventable?

Instructors of the course are following:

Dr. Pavel Hosek, the guarantor of the course, Associate Professor of the Protestant Theological Faculty of the Charles University and the head of the Religious Studies Department.

Dr. Paul A. Levine, key instructor of the course, Holocaust and Genocide scholar.

Dr. Gerhard Baumgartner, instructor for Roma and Sinti Genocide, research director of the Documentation Centre of Austrian Resistance, Vienna, historian and specialist in teaching about Roma and Sinti genocide.

Dr. Miroslav Mares, instructor for nationalism and extremism, professor of the Department of Political Science of the Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno, specialist in political extremism and radicalism.

Dr. Hayk Demoyan, instructor for the history and memory of the Armenian Genocide, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan, Armenia.

Dr. Tomas Smid, instructor for genocidal violence in post-Soviet republics, researcher and university lecturer in the field of ethnic conflits and terrorism.

 
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