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The twentieth century has been labelled the “Age of Genocide”. This subject will provide a detailed examination of the Holocaust, the archetype of modern genocide, as part of a broader global history of genocide and mass violence. The subject includes case studies from Europe, Africa and the Asia Pacific region. It will examine the historical origins and contested nature of the concept of genocide, as well as the contexts, mechanisms and consequences of genocidal violence through different historical experiences across the world. The genocidal context of war, ideologies of genocide, decision-making processes, victims and perpetrators, the spaces of extermination, and the processes of documentation, memorialization, legal prosecution and prevention of genocide will be studied.
As a second level History subject, there is a focus on primary sources and document analysis. Object-based learning activities in tutorials will include working with archival materials. Numerous visual resources will be used in lectures. The subject aims to provide students with knowledge and skills that can be applied to practice through the analysis and prevention of genocide.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a general knowledge of the key figures and significant events in selected examples of colonial and modern genocides with particular emphasis on the Holocaust;
- gain an understanding of the global historical context of twentieth-century genocides;
- demonstrate familiarity with the major historiographical debates concerning genocide and the Holocaust and develop insight into the practice of comparative history;
- learn to analyse primary and secondary sources in constructing historical arguments;
- demonstrate research skills using printed and electronic sources in preparation of a substantial research essay; and
- develop skills of critical thinking through group discussion of subject readings and preparation of written assessment.
Last updated: 22 January 2020