Genocide in the Modern World HIST4263

  • Academic Session: 2019-20
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

In this year-long special subject, students will consider historical approaches to the study of genocide and related mass atrocities that have occurred in the 20th and 21st centuries. In the first semester, students will focus on the theoretical approaches and the evolution of key international legal prohibitions of relevance to the field of genocide studies, In the second semester, students will explore key challenges facing the prevention and punishment of genocide since the entry into force of the United Nations 'Convention to Prevent and Punish the Crimes of Genocide' in 1951.

Timetable

Three hours per week in each semester. This is one of the honours options in History and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours in history.

Excluded Courses

None

Co-requisites

None

Assessment

Semester one:

Reading responses (10%): Students are required to complete 5 of 10 possible reading responses to questions that will be posed on a weekly basis. Each responses should be limited to 200 words and demonstrate direct engagement with the readings that have been assigned for each week, as they relate to a question posed by the instructor.

Book review and presentation (40%): Students are required to write and present an 800-word book review of one of the texts listed in the course handbook. The due date will depend on which text the student chooses, and the written review should be formatted according to the guidelines for the Journal of Genocide Research (to be provided in class). The presentation can be informal and should be no more than ten minutes in length, followed by a question period and discussion. The written review and presentation will be equally weighted in this assessment.

Essay (50%): Students are required to write a 2,000 word essay on the evolution/application of international law as it applies to one of the case studies discussed in semester one.

 

Semester two:

Reading responses (10%): Students are required to complete 5 of 10 possible reading responses to questions that will be posed on a weekly basis. Each responses should be limited to 200 words and demonstrate direct engagement with the readings that have been assigned for each week, as they relate to a question posed by the instructor.

Book review and presentation (40%): Students are required to write and present an 800-word book review of one of the texts listed in the course handbook. The due date will depend on which text the student chooses, and the written review should be formatted according to the guidelines for the Journal of Genocide Research (to be provided in class). The presentation can be informal and should be no more than ten minutes in length, followed by a question period and discussion. The written review and presentation will be equally weighted in this assessment.

Symposium (50%): Students will work in small groups to organize a symposium on the emergent mass atrocities in either Sudan (Week 9) or Myanmar (Week 10). 6 students will be assigned to each case study on a first-come, first-served basis. Once assigned to a case study, each student will then choose one of six questions on which they will prepare an executive summary of no more than 2000 words, and give a formal class presentation of no more than fifteen minutes per topic, followed by a question period and discussion. Students' executive summaries and presentations will be equally weighted in this assessment, and each symposia group will be given an opportunity to assess-using the criteria associated with the College of Arts' 22 point scale-the other groups work. Their suggested grades for each group will be weighted at 20%, with the individual grade suggested by the instructor following review of the individual (equally weighted) executive summaries and presentations comprising 80% of their mark for this assessment.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ Engage with a number of examples of genocide across the 20th and 21st centuries, and around the world;

■ Act as professional historians by conducting independent and small-group group analysis of primary sources, informed by secondary readings, and writing carefully considered essays and related written assignment;

■ Gain familiarity with some of the key challenges that historians face in analysing primary sources related to genocide and other mass atrocities;

■ Practice applying past and present legal prohibitions to different cases of mass human rights violations;

■ Engage in informed student-led discussion on key themes related to the study of genocide in different settings;

■ Begin thinking about the intersections between historical approaches to the study of genocide, and other disciplinary approaches.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify and discuss in a critical manner key theoretical and historiographic issues concerning the study of genocide and related mass atrocities in the 20th and 21st centuries;

■ Identify shifts in public attitudes and international policies on genocide and related mass atrocities;

■ Critically evaluate and interpret primary sources related to genocide, and bring them into conversation with relevant secondary literature to produce informed conclusions on a given case study;

■ Evaluate the various controversies that surround policy, academic, and public discourses related to genocide and related mass atrocities;

■ Communicate effectively about the history of genocide in class discussions;

■ Work independently and in small groups to evaluate primary sources on genocide and related mass atrocities, and identify the possible insights they can offer for the field of genocide studies; and

■ Draw informed conclusions about how genocide and related mass atrocities take shape within a community, and the long-term legacies of such violence for surviving communities.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.