In the wake of unthinkable atrocities, it is reasonable to ask how any population can move on from the experience of genocide. Simply remembering the past can, in the shadow of mass death, be retraumatizing. So how can such momentous events be memorialized in a way that is productive and even healing for survivors? Genocide memorials tell a story about the past, preserve evidence of the violence that occurred, and provide emotional support to survivors. But the goal of amplifying survivors’ voices can fade amid larger narratives entrenched in political motivations.
In After Genocide,Nicole Fox investigates the ways memorials can shape the experiences of survivors decades after mass violence has ended. She examines how memorializations can both heal and hurt, especially when they fail to represent all genders, ethnicities, and classes of those afflicted. Drawing on extensive interviews with Rwandans, Fox reveals their relationships to these spaces and uncovers those voices silenced by the dominant narrative—arguing that the erasure of such stories is an act of violence itself. The book probes the ongoing question of how to fit survivors in to the dominant narrative of healing and importantly demonstrates how memorials can shape possibilities for growth, national cohesion, reconciliation, and hope for the future.
In 1998 David Kruiper, the leader of the ‡Khomani San who today live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, lamented, “We have been made into nothing.” His comment applies equally to the fate of all the hunter-gatherer societies of the Cape Colony who were destroyed by the impact of European colonialism. Until relatively recently, the extermination of the Cape San peoples has been treated as little more than a footnote to South African narratives of colonial conquest.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Dutch-speaking pastoralists who infiltrated the Cape interior dispossessed its aboriginal inhabitants. In response to indigenous resistance, colonists formed mounted militia units known as commandos with the express purpose of destroying San bands. This ensured the virtual extinction of the Cape San peoples. In The Anatomy of a South African Genocide, Mohamed Adhikari examines the history of the San and persuasively presents the annihilation of Cape San society as genocide.
Sophocles' play Antigone is a starting point for understanding the perpetual problems of human societies, families, and individuals who are caught up in the terrible aftermath of mass violence. What is one to do after the killing has stopped? What can be done to prevent a round of new violence? The tragic and dramatic tension in the play is put in motion by setting an unyielding Antigone against King Creon. As we see through the investigation of how Germany, Japan, Spain, Yugoslavia and Turkey have dealt with their histories of mass violence and genocide in the 20th century, the forces represented by Antigone and Creon remain very much part of our world today. Through a comparison of the five countries, their political institutions, and cultural traditions, we begin to appreciate the different pathways that societies have taken when confronting their violent histories.
Published by Bucknell University Press. Distributed worldwide by Rutgers University Press.
Among the Nazi leaders, Heinrich Himmler was, as Richard Breitman observes in this ground- breaking study, an easy man to underestimate—short, pudgy, near-sighted, chinless. Yet Himmler holds a peculiarly memorable place in the roster of Nazi war criminals: he was the man most closely associated with the creation and operation of the Final Solution, the programme of formal mass murder responsible for the deaths of six million Jews in death camps. Thus, to understand the Holocaust it is first necessary to understand Himmler, and it is this The Architect of Genocide at last permits us to do. Drawing on thousands of published and unpublished sources—ranging from the Nuremburg War Crimes trial records to papers held in the Central State Archives of the October Revolution of the Ukrainian SSR in Kiev—Breitman shows us the man himself, growing from unlikeable boyhood to be the perfect bureaucrat, seemingly the antithesis of the mad policies he espoused. At the same time, with unchallengeable authority, he presents us with the hitherto mysterious and much—debated facts about the origins of those policies, establishing among other things that before the war, Himmler had plans to murder all German Jews who would not- or could not—leave the country and that as early as 1939, Himmler was considering the use of gas chambers and crematoriums.
Roughly 1.7 million people died in Cambodia from untreated disease, starvation, and execution during the Khmer Rouge reign of less than four years in the late 1970s. The regime’s brutality has come to be symbolized by the multitude of black-and-white mug shots of prisoners taken at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands of “enemies of the state” were tortured before being sent to the Killing Fields. In Archiving the Unspeakable, Michelle Caswell traces the social life of these photographic records through the lens of archival studies and elucidates how, paradoxically, they have become agents of silence and witnessing, human rights and injustice as they are deployed at various moments in time and space. From their creation as Khmer Rouge administrative records to their transformation beginning in 1979 into museum displays, archival collections, and databases, the mug shots are key components in an ongoing drama of unimaginable human suffering.
Winner, Waldo Gifford Leland Award, Society of American Archivists
Longlist, ICAS Book Prize, International Convention of Asia Scholars
In the aftermath of the genocide, the Rwandan government has attempted to use the education system in order to sustain peace and shape a new generation of Rwandans. Their hope is to create a generation focused on a unified and patriotic future rather than the ethnically divisive past. Yet, the government’s efforts to manipulate global models around citizenship, human rights, and reconciliation to serve its national goals have had mixed results, with new tensions emerging across social groups. Becoming Rwandan argues that although the Rwandan government utilizes global discourses in national policy documents, the way in which teachers and students engage with these global models distorts the intention of the government, resulting in unintended consequences and undermining a sustainable peace.
Border of Lights, a volunteer collective, returns each October to Dominican-Haitian border towns to bear witness to the 1937 Haitian Massacre ordered by Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo. This crime against humanity has never been acknowledged by the Dominican government and no memorial exists for its victims. A multimodal, multi-vocal space for activists, artists, scholars, and others connected to the BOL movement, The Border of Lights Reader provides an alternative to the dominant narrative that positions Dominicans and Haitians as eternal adversaries and ignores cross-border and collaborative histories. This innovative anthology asks large-scale, universal questions regarding historical memory and revisionism that countries around the world grapple with today.
The Circassian Genocide
Richmond, Walter Rutgers University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DK34.C57R53 2013 | Dewey Decimal 947.081
Circassia was a small independent nation on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea. For no reason other than ethnic hatred, over the course of hundreds of raids the Russians drove the Circassians from their homeland and deported them to the Ottoman Empire. At least 600,000 people lost their lives to massacre, starvation, and the elements while hundreds of thousands more were forced to leave their homeland. By 1864, three-fourths of the population was annihilated, and the Circassians had become one of the first stateless peoples in modern history.
Using rare archival materials, Walter Richmond chronicles the history of the war, describes in detail the final genocidal campaign, and follows the Circassians in diaspora through five generations as they struggle to survive and return home. He places the periods of acute genocide, 1821–1822 and 1863–1864, in the larger context of centuries of tension between the two nations and updates the story to the present day as the Circassian community works to gain international recognition of the genocide as the region prepares for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, the site of the Russians’ final victory.
This important collection of essays expands the geographic, demographic, and analytic scope of the term genocide to encompass the effects of colonialism and settler colonialism in North America. Colonists made multiple and interconnected attempts to destroy Indigenous peoples as groups. The contributors examine these efforts through the lens of genocide. Considering some of the most destructive aspects of the colonization and subsequent settlement of North America, several essays address Indigenous boarding school systems imposed by both the Canadian and U.S. governments in attempts to "civilize" or "assimilate" Indigenous children. Contributors examine some of the most egregious assaults on Indigenous peoples and the natural environment, including massacres, land appropriation, the spread of disease, the near-extinction of the buffalo, and forced political restructuring of Indigenous communities. Assessing the record of these appalling events, the contributors maintain that North Americans must reckon with colonial and settler colonial attempts to annihilate Indigenous peoples.
Contributors. Jeff Benvenuto, Robbie Ethridge, Theodore Fontaine, Joseph P. Gone, Alexander Laban Hinton, Tasha Hubbard, Margaret D. Jabobs, Kiera L. Ladner, Tricia E. Logan, David B. MacDonald, Benjamin Madley, Jeremy Patzer, Julia Peristerakis, Christopher Powell, Colin Samson, Gray H. Whaley, Andrew Woolford
Why do people participate in genocide? Timothy Williams presents an interdisciplinary model that shows how complex and diverse, but also how ordinary and mundane most motivations for participating in genocide are. The book draws on empirical examples from the Holocaust and Rwanda and introduces new data from interviews with perpetrators of genocide in Cambodia.
Corner of the Dead
Lynn Lurie University of Massachusetts Press, 2008 Library of Congress PS3612.U774C67 2008 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
This powerful novel depicts the reign of violence perpetrated in Peru in the 1980s by the Shining Path guerrillas, a Maoist-based organization, and the subsequent authoritarian counterattack by the Peruvian government. It explores these horrific events through the eyes of a young American photojournalist and humanitarian worker, Lisette, who bears witness to the genocide of the Peruvian Indians in whose village she has chosen to live.
"I use the camera to block my view," says Lisette. This is the start of her double vision—trying to forget and trying to recall—and her struggle to come to terms with the human capacity for cruelty. But the grim reality in Peru is so overpowering that she carries it with her back to New York and through the rest of her life. Having abandoned a lover along with the fight, she desperately tries to find meaning beyond that of mere survival.
When genocidal violence gripped Rwanda in 1994, the international community recoiled, hastily withdrawing its peacekeepers. Late that year, in an effort to redeem itself, the United Nations Security Council created the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda to seek accountability for some of the worst atrocities since World War II: the genocide suffered by the Tutsi and crimes against humanity suffered by the Hutu. But faced with competing claims, the prosecution focused exclusively on the crimes of Hutu extremists. No charges would be brought against the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front, which ultimately won control of the country. The UN, as if racked by guilt for its past inaction, gave in to pressure by Rwanda’s new leadership. With the Hutu effectively silenced, and the RPF constantly reminding the international community of its failure to protect the Tutsi during the war, the Tribunal pursued an unusual form of one-sided justice, born out of contrition.
Fascinated by the Tribunal’s rich complexities, journalist Thierry Cruvellier came back day after day to watch the proceedings, spending more time there than any other outside observer. Gradually he gained the confidence of the victims, defendants, lawyers, and judges. Drawing on interviews with these protagonists and his close observations of their interactions, Cruvellier takes readers inside the courtroom to witness the motivations, mechanisms, and manipulations of justice as it unfolded on the stage of high-stakes, global politics. It is this ground-level view that makes his account so valuable—and so absorbing. A must-read for those who want to understand the dynamics of international criminal tribunals, Court of Remorse reveals both the possibilities and the challenges of prosecuting human rights violations.
A Choice Outstanding Academic Book
Best Books for General Audiences, selected by the American Association for School Libraries and the Public Library Association
Best Books for High Schools, selected by the American Association for School Libraries
Rogaia Mustafa Abusharaf University of Chicago Press, 2021 Library of Congress DT159.6.D27A32 2021 | Dewey Decimal 962.4043
The Darfur conflict exploded in early 2003 when two rebel groups, the Sudan Liberation Movement and the Justice and Equality Movement, struck national military installations in Darfur to send a hard-hitting message of resentment over the region’s political and economic marginalization. The conflict devastated the region’s economy, shredded its fragile social fabric, and drove millions of people from their homes. Darfur Allegory is a dispatch from the humanitarian crisis that explains the historical and ethnographic background to competing narratives that have informed international responses. At the heart of the book is Sudanese anthropologist Rogaia Abusharaf’s critique of the pseudoscientific notions of race and ethnicity that posit divisions between “Arab” northerners and “African” Darfuris.
Elaborated in colonial times and enshrined in policy afterwards, such binary categories have been adopted by the media to explain the civil war in Darfur. The narratives that circulate internationally are thus highly fraught and cover over—to counterproductive effect—forms of Darfurian activism that have emerged in the conflict’s wake. Darfur Allegory marries the analytical precision of a committed anthropologist with an insider’s view of Sudanese politics at home and in the diaspora, laying bare the power of words to heal or perpetuate civil conflict.
Hal Crimmel has brought the findings of science together with the experienced voices of environmental social scientists, humanists, and activists to provide perspective on Utah water issues. The matters discussed are relevant beyond this one state, as similar conditions and concerns, especially over supply and demand in the face of demographic and climate change, exist throughout the West. Some of the essays are scientific and analytical; others literary and personal. Together they draw attention to problems that Utah residents and policy makers must address but also emphasize ways to build solutions. Desert Water will help citizens, policy makers, and anyone interested in Utah’s water supply and use—as everyone in the state should be—understand the real challengesand ethicsinvolved in managing this vital, finite resource. By awareness, these essays should create a sense of urgency for finding workable solutions.
The essays in this book, written over a span of some twenty years but updated for this publication, discuss episodes of mass murder that are often considered instances of genocide: the large-scale killing of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey during World War I, the near-extinction of North America’s Indian population, the vicious persecution of the “Roma” or Gypsies under the Nazi regime. But in line with Article II of the Genocide Convention of 1948, Lewy stresses the crucial importance of looking closely at the intent of the perpetrators. In contrast to the Holocaust, the killers in the atrocities mentioned above did not seek to destroy an entire people, and so, these three large-scale killings do not deserve the label of genocide.
Lewy argues that affirming the distinctiveness of the Holocaust does not deny, downgrade, or trivialize the suffering of other people. The crimes against the Ottoman Armenians, the American Indians, and the Gypsies—even if they did not reach the threshold of genocide—involved horrendous suffering and a massive loss of life. The genocides of Cambodia and Rwanda that took place in the second half of the twentieth century remind us that man’s inhumanity to man can take many forms and is not the special prerogative of any particular group. The last essay of the collection deals with the complications of humanitarian intervention to prevent genocide. As the recent support of the Libyan rebels by NATO demonstrates, the issues raised here remain topical and controversial.
Honorable Mention, 2021 Outstanding First Book Award from the Memory Studies Association
Today, nearly any group or nation with violence in its past has constructed or is planning a memorial museum as a mechanism for confronting past trauma, often together with truth commissions, trials, and/or other symbolic or material reparations. Exhibiting Atrocity documents the emergence of the memorial museum as a new cultural form of commemoration, and analyzes its use in efforts to come to terms with past political violence and to promote democracy and human rights.
Through a global comparative approach, Amy Sodaro uses in-depth case studies of five exemplary memorial museums that commemorate a range of violent pasts and allow for a chronological and global examination of the trend: the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC; the House of Terror in Budapest, Hungary; the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Rwanda; the Museum of Memory and Human Rights in Santiago, Chile; and the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York. Together, these case studies illustrate the historical emergence and global spread of the memorial museum and show how this new cultural form of commemoration is intended to be used in contemporary societies around the world.
One of the deadliest phases of the Holocaust, the Nazi regime’s “Operation Reinhard”
produced three major death camps—Belzec, Treblinka, and Sobibor—which claimed the
lives of 1.8 million Jews. In the 1960s, a small measure of justice came for those victims
when a score of defendants who had been officers and guards at the camps were convicted
of war crimes in West German courts. The conviction rates varied, however. While all but
one of fourteen Treblinka defendants were convicted, half of the twelve Sobibor defendants
escaped punishment, and only one of eight Belzec defendants was convicted. Also,
despite the enormity of the crimes, the sentences were light in many cases, amounting to
only a few years in prison.
In this meticulous history of the Operation Reinhard trials, Michael S. Bryant examines
a disturbing question: Did compromised jurists engineer acquittals or lenient punishments
for proven killers? Drawing on rarely studied archival sources, Bryant concludes
that the trial judges acted in good faith within the bounds of West German law. The key
to successful prosecutions was eyewitness testimony. At Belzec, the near-total efficiency
of the Nazi death machine meant that only one survivor could be found to testify. At Treblinka
and Sobibor, however, prisoner revolts had resulted in a number of survivors who
could give firsthand accounts of specific atrocities and identify participants. The courts,
Bryant finds, treated these witnesses with respect and even made allowances for conflicting
testimony. And when handing down sentences, the judges acted in accordance with
strict legal definitions of perpetration, complicity, and action under duress.
Yet, despite these findings, Bryant also shows that West German legal culture was
hardly blameless during the postwar era. Though ready to convict the mostly workingclass
personnel of the death camps, the Federal Republic followed policies that insulated
the judicial elite from accountability for its own role in the Final Solution. While trial
records show that the “bias” of West German jurists was neither direct nor personal, the
structure of the system ensured that lawyers and judges themselves avoided judgment.
As a child growing up in Cambodia, Ronnie Yimsut played among the ruins of the Angkor Wat temples, surrounded by a close-knit community. As the Khmer Rouge gained power and began its genocidal reign of terror, his life became a nightmare. In this stunning memoir, Yimsut describes how, in the wake of death and destruction, he decides to live.
Escaping the turmoil of Cambodia, he makes a perilous journey through the jungle into Thailand, only to be sent to a notorious Thai prison. Fortunately, he is able to reach a refugee camp and ultimately migrate to the United States, where he attended the University of Oregon and became an influential leader in the community of Cambodian immigrants. Facing the Khmer Rouge shows Ronnie Yimsut’s personal quest to rehabilitate himself, make a new life in America, and then return to Cambodia to help rebuild the land of his birth.
Film and Genocide
Kristi M. Wilson University of Wisconsin Press, 2011 Library of Congress PN1995.9.H53F55 2012 | Dewey Decimal 791.43658405318
Film and Genocide brings together scholars of film and of genocide to discuss film representations, both fictional and documentary, of the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, and genocides in Chile, Australia, Rwanda, and the United States. Since 1955, when Alain Resnais created his experimental documentary Night and Fog about the Nazis’ mass killings of Jews and other ostracized groups, filmmakers have struggled with using this medium to tell such difficult stories, to re-create the sociopolitical contexts of genocide, and to urge awareness and action among viewers. This volume looks at such issues as realism versus fiction, the challenge of depicting atrocities in a manner palatable to spectators and film distributors, the Holocaust film as a model for films about other genocides, and the role of new technologies in disseminating films about genocide. Film and Genocide also includes interviews with three film directors, who discuss their experiences in working with deeply disturbing images and bringing hidden stories to life: Irek Dobrowolski, director of The Portraitist (2005) a documentary about Wilhelm Brasse, an Auschwitz-Birkenau prisoner ordered to take more than 40,000 photos at the camp; Nick Hughes, director of 100 Days (2005) a dramatic film about the Rwandan mass killings; and Greg Barker, director of Ghosts of Rwanda (2004), a television documentary for Frontline.
Final Solutions offers a ground-breaking and genuinely unique analysis of modern genocide. Sabby Sagall draws on the insights of the Frankfurt school and Wilhelm Reich to create an innovative combination of Marxism and psychoanalysis. He argues that genocide is a product of an ‘irrational’ destructiveness by social classes or communities that have suffered major historical defeats or similar forms of extreme stress.
Sagall shows how the denial of human needs and the ensuing feelings of isolation and powerlessness propel groups to project their impotent rage, hatred and destructiveness engendered by these defeats on to the 'outsider' and the 'other'.
The book applies this theoretical framework to four modern genocides – that of the Native Americans, the Armenians, the Jews and the Rwandan Tutsis. This is a truly pioneering contribution which adds to our understanding of some of the darkest hours of humanity – and how we can stop them from happening again.
In paperback for the first time, From Racism to Genocide is an explosive, richly detailed account of how Nazi anthropologists justified racism, developed practical applications of racist theory, and eventually participated in every phase of the Holocaust.
Using original sources and previously unpublished documentation, Gretchen E. Schafft shows the total range of anti-human activity from within the confines of a particular discipline. Based on seven years of archival research in the United States and abroad, the work includes many original photos and documents, most of which have never before been published. It uses primary data and original texts whenever possible, including correspondence written by perpetrators. The book also reveals that the United States was not merely a bystander in this research, but instead contributed professional and financial support to early racial research that continued through the first five years of Hitler’s regime.
In April 1994 Rwanda exploded in violence, with political, social, and economic divisions most visible along ethnic lines of the Hutu and Tutsi factions. The ensuing killings resulted in the deaths of as much as 20 percent of Rwanda's population. André Guichaoua, who was present as the genocide began, unfolds a complex story with multiple actors, including three major political parties that each encompassed a spectrum of positions, all reacting to and influencing a rapidly evolving situation. Economic polarities, famine-fueled privation, clientelism, corruption, north-south rivalries, and events in the neighboring nations of Burundi and Uganda all deepened ethnic tensions, allowing extremists to prevail over moderates.
Guichaoua draws on years of meticulous research to describe and analyze this history. He emphasizes that the same virulent controversies that fueled the conflict have often influenced judicial, political, and diplomatic responses to it, reproducing the partisan cleavages between the former belligerents and implicating state actors, international institutions, academics, and the media. Guichaoua insists upon the imperative of absolute intellectual independence in pursuing the truth about some of the gravest human rights violations of the twentieth century.
Genocide not only annihilates people but also destroys and reorganizes social relations, using terror as a method. In Genocide as Social Practice, social scientist Daniel Feierstein looks at the policies of state-sponsored repression pursued by the Argentine military dictatorship against political opponents between 1976 and 1983 and those pursued by the Third Reich between 1933 and 1945. He finds similarities, not in the extent of the horror but in terms of the goals of the perpetrators.
The Nazis resorted to ruthless methods in part to stifle dissent but even more importantly to reorganize German society into a Volksgemeinschaft, or people’s community, in which racial solidarity would supposedly replace class struggle. The situation in Argentina echoes this. After seizing power in 1976, the Argentine military described its own program of forced disappearances, torture, and murder as a “process of national reorganization” aimed at remodeling society on “Western and Christian” lines.
For Feierstein, genocide can be considered a technology of power—a form of social engineering—that creates, destroys, or reorganizes relationships within a given society. It influences the ways in which different social groups construct their identity and the identity of others, thus shaping the way that groups interrelate. Feierstein establishes continuity between the “reorganizing genocide” first practiced by the Nazis in concentration camps and the more complex version—complex in terms of the symbolic and material closure of social relationships —later applied in Argentina. In conclusion, he speculates on how to construct a political culture capable of confronting and resisting these trends.
First published in Argentina, in Spanish, Genocide as Social Practice has since been translated into many languages, now including this English edition. The book provides a distinctive and valuable look at genocide through the lens of Latin America as well as Europe.
In the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, Rwandan women faced the impossible—resurrecting their lives amidst unthinkable devastation. Haunted by memories of lost loved ones and of their own experiences of violence, women rebuilt their lives from “less than nothing.” Neither passive victims nor innate peacemakers, they traversed dangerous emotional and political terrain to emerge as leaders in Rwanda today. This clear and engaging ethnography of survival tackles three interrelated phenomena—memory, silence, and justice—and probes the contradictory roles women played in postgenocide reconciliation.
Based on more than a decade of intensive fieldwork, Genocide Lives in Us provides a unique grassroots perspective on a postconflict society. Anthropologist Jennie E. Burnet relates with sensitivity the heart-wrenching survival stories of ordinary Rwandan women and uncovers political and historical themes in their personal narratives. She shows that women’s leading role in Rwanda’s renaissance resulted from several factors: the dire postgenocide situation that forced women into new roles; advocacy by the Rwandan women’s movement; and the inclusion of women in the postgenocide government.
Honorable Mention, Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize, Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association
The twentieth century has been called, not inaccurately, a century of genocide. And the beginning of the twenty-first century has seen little change, with genocidal violence in Darfur, Congo, Sri Lanka, and Syria. Why is genocide so widespread, and so difficult to stop, across societies that differ so much culturally, technologically, and politically?That's the question that this collection addresses, gathering a stellar roster of contributors to offer a range of perspectives from different disciplines to attempt to understand the pervasiveness of genocidal violence. Challenging outdated beliefs and conventions that continue to influence our understanding, Genocide constitutes a major contribution to the scholarship on mass violence.
What happens to people and the societies in which they live after genocide? How are the devastating events remembered on the individual and collective levels, and how do these memories intersect and diverge as the rulers of postgenocidal states attempt to produce a monolithic “truth” about the past? In this important volume, leading anthropologists consider such questions about the relationship of genocide, truth, memory, and representation in the Balkans, East Timor, Germany, Guatemala, Indonesia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, and other locales.
Specialists on the societies about which they write, these anthropologists draw on ethnographic research to provide on-the-ground analyses of communities in the wake of mass brutality. They investigate how mass violence is described or remembered, and how those representations are altered by the attempts of others, from NGOs to governments, to assert “the truth” about outbreaks of violence. One contributor questions the neutrality of an international group monitoring violence in Sudan and the assumption that such groups are, at worst, benign. Another examines the consequences of how events, victims, and perpetrators are portrayed by the Rwandan government during the annual commemoration of that country’s genocide in 1994. Still another explores the silence around the deaths of between eighty and one hundred thousand people on Bali during Indonesia’s state-sponsored anticommunist violence of 1965–1966, a genocidal period that until recently was rarely referenced in tourist guidebooks, anthropological studies on Bali, or even among the Balinese themselves. Other contributors consider issues of political identity and legitimacy, coping, the media, and “ethnic cleansing.” Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation reveals the major contribution that cultural anthropologists can make to the study of genocide.
Contributors. Pamela Ballinger, Jennie E. Burnet, Conerly Casey, Elizabeth Drexler, Leslie Dwyer, Alexander Laban Hinton, Sharon E. Hutchinson, Uli Linke, Kevin Lewis O’Neill, Antonius C. G. M. Robben, Debra Rodman, Victoria Sanford
Handbook of War Studies III is a follow-up to Handbook of War Studies I (1993) and II (2000). This new volume collects original work from leading international relations scholars on domestic strife, ethnic conflict, genocide, and other timely topics. Special attention is given to civil war, which has become one of the dominant forms---if not the dominant form---of conflict in the world today.
Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, New York University, and Hoover Institution, Stanford University Nils Petter Gleditsch, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO), and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim Håvard Hegre, University of Oslo, and International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) Erin K. Jenne, Central European University, Budapest Mark Irving Lichbach, University of Maryland Roy Licklider, Rutgers University, New Brunswick T. David Mason, University of North Texas Rose McDermott, Cornell University Stephen Saideman, McGill University Håvard Strand, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) Monica Duffy Toft, Harvard University
Manus I. Midlarsky is the Moses and Annuta Back Professor of International Peace and Conflict Resolution at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is the founding past president of the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association and a past vice president of the International Studies Association.
Why are some genocides prominently remembered while others are ignored, hidden, or denied? Consider the Turkish campaign denying the Armenian genocide, followed by the Armenian movement to recognize the violence. Similar movements are building to acknowledge other genocides that have long remained out of sight in the media, such as those against the Circassians, Greeks, Assyrians, the indigenous peoples in the Americas and Australia, and the violence that was the precursor to and the aftermath of the Holocaust.
The contributors to this collection look at these cases and others from a variety of perspectives. These essays cover the extent to which our biases, our ways of knowing, our patterns of definition, our assumptions about truth, and our processes of remembering and forgetting as well as the characteristics of generational transmission, the structures of power and state ideology, and diaspora have played a role in hiding some events and not others. Noteworthy among the collection’s coverage is whether the trade in African slaves was a form of genocide and a discussion not only of Hutus brutalizing Tutsi victims in Rwanda, but of the execution of moderate Hutus as well.
Hidden Genocides is a significant contribution in terms of both descriptive narratives and interpretations to the emerging subfield of critical genocide studies.
Contributors: Daniel Feierstein, Donna-Lee Frieze, Krista Hegburg, Alexander Laban Hinton, Adam Jones, A. Dirk Moses, Chris M. Nunpa, Walter Richmond, Hannibal Travis, and Elisa von Joeden-Forgey
After the unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust, the United Nations signed the Genocide Convention in 1948. Although this convention aimed for the prevention of genocide in the future, large-scale mass murder nonetheless returned in Rwanda and Cambodia, among other nations. Genocide is incredibly difficult to fight, as its causes are complex and deeply rooted, but international courts and tribunals have begun to play an increasing role in bringing perpetrators to justice. This book offers concise information about five twentieth-century cases of genocide, while analyzing overarching issues in international justice.
Why do we so often speak of books as living, flourishing, and dying? And what is at stake when we do so? This habit of treating books as people, or personifying texts, is rampant in postwar American culture. In this bracing study, Amy Hungerford argues that such personification has become pivotal to our contemporary understanding of both literature and genocide. Personified texts, she contends, play a particularly powerful role in works where the systematic destruction of entire ethnic groups is at issue.
Hungerford examines the implications of conflating texts with people in a broad range of texts: Art Spiegelman's Maus; Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451; the poetry of Sylvia Plath; Binjamin Wilkomirski's fake Holocaust memoir Fragments; and the fiction of Saul Bellow, Philip Roth, and Don DeLillo. She considers the ethical consequences of this trend in the work of recent and contemporary theorists and literary critics as well, including Cathy Caruth, Jacqueline Rose, Jacques Derrida, and Paul de Man. What she uncovers are fundamentally flawed ideas about representation that underwrite and thus undermine powerful and commonly accepted claims about literature and identity. According to Hungerford, the personification of texts is ethically corrosive and theoretically unsound. When we exalt the literary as personal and construe genocide as less a destruction of human life than of culture, we esteem memory over learning, short-circuit debates about cultural change, lend credence to the illusion or metaphysics of presence, and limit our conception of literature and its purpose.
Ultimately, The Holocaust of Texts asks us to think more deeply about the relationship between reading, experience, and memorialization. Why, for instance, is it more important to remember acts of genocide than simply to learn about them? If literary works are truly the bearers of ontology, then what must be our conduct toward them? Considering difficult questions such as these with fresh logic, Hungerford offers us an invigorating work, one that will not only interest scholars of American and postwar literature, but students of the Holocaust and critical theory as well.
France is the only Western European nation home to substantial numbers of survivors of the World War I and World War II genocides. In the Aftermath of Genocide offers a unique comparison of the country’s Armenian and Jewish survivor communities. By demonstrating how—in spite of significant differences between these two populations—striking similarities emerge in the ways each responded to genocide, Maud S. Mandel illuminates the impact of the nation-state on ethnic and religious minorities in twentieth-century Europe and provides a valuable theoretical framework for considering issues of transnational identity. Investigating each community’s response to its violent past, Mandel reflects on how shifts in ethnic, religious, and national affiliations were influenced by that group’s recent history. The book examines these issues in the context of France’s long commitment to a politics of integration and homogenization—a politics geared toward the establishment of equal rights and legal status for all citizens, but not toward the accommodation of cultural diversity.
In the Aftermath of Genocide reveals that Armenian and Jewish survivors rarely sought to shed the obvious symbols of their ethnic and religious identities. Mandel shows that following the 1915 genocide and the Holocaust, these communities, if anything, seemed increasingly willing to mobilize in their own self-defense and thereby call attention to their distinctiveness. Most Armenian and Jewish survivors were neither prepared to give up their minority status nor willing to migrate to their national homelands of Armenia and Israel. In the Aftermath of Genocide suggests that the consolidation of the nation-state system in twentieth-century Europe led survivors of genocide to fashion identities for themselves as ethnic minorities despite the dangers implicit in that status.
The Armenian Genocide and the Nazi Holocaust are often thought to be separated by a large distance in time and space. But Stefan Ihrig shows that they were much more connected than previously thought. Bismarck and then Wilhelm II staked their foreign policy on close relations with a stable Ottoman Empire. To the extent that the Armenians were restless under Ottoman rule, they were a problem for Germany too. From the 1890s onward Germany became accustomed to excusing violence against Armenians, even accepting it as a foreign policy necessity. For many Germans, the Armenians represented an explicitly racial problem and despite the Armenians’ Christianity, Germans portrayed them as the “Jews of the Orient.”
As Stefan Ihrig reveals in this first comprehensive study of the subject, many Germans before World War I sympathized with the Ottomans’ longstanding repression of the Armenians and would go on to defend vigorously the Turks’ wartime program of extermination. After the war, in what Ihrig terms the “great genocide debate,” German nationalists first denied and then justified genocide in sweeping terms. The Nazis too came to see genocide as justifiable: in their version of history, the Armenian Genocide had made possible the astonishing rise of the New Turkey.
Ihrig is careful to note that this connection does not imply the Armenian Genocide somehow caused the Holocaust, nor does it make Germans any less culpable. But no history of the twentieth century should ignore the deep, direct, and disturbing connections between these two crimes.
The news media played a crucial role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide. Local media fueled the killings, while international media either ignored or seriously misunderstood what was happening.
This is the first book to explore both sides of the media equation. Examining how local radio was used as a tool of hate, encouraging neighbors to turn against each other, the book also presents a critique of international media coverage. Bringing together local reporters, high-profile Western journalists, and leading media theorists, this is the only book to identify the extent of the media's accountability. It also examines deliberations by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda on the role of the media in the genocide. This book is a startling record of the negative influence that the media can have. The authors put forward suggestions for the future, outlining how we can avoid censorship and propaganda and they argue for a new responsibility in media reporting.
Leading up to World War II, two Polish men witnessed the targeted extermination of Jews under Adolf Hitler and the German Reich before the reality of the Holocaust was widely known. Raphael Lemkin, a Jewish lawyer who coined the term "genocide," and Jan Karski, a Catholic member of the Polish resistance, independently shared this knowledge with Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Having heard false rumors of wartime atrocities before, the leaders met the messengers with disbelief and inaction, leading to the eventual murder of more than six million people.
Messengers of Disaster draws upon little-known texts from an array of archives, including the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva and the International Tracing Service in Bad Arolsen. Carrying the knowledge of disaster took a toll on Lemkin and Karski, but their work prepared the way for the United Nations to unanimously adopt the first human rights convention in 1948 and influenced the language we use to talk about genocide today. Annette Becker's detailed study of these two important figures illuminates how distortions of fact can lead people to deny knowledge of what is happening in front of their own eyes.
Genocide is commonly understood to be a terrible aberration in human behaviour, performed by evil, murderous regimes such as the Nazis and dictators like Suharto and Pinochet. John Docker argues that the roots of genocide go far deeper into human nature than most people realise.
Genocide features widely in the Bible, the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, and debates about the Enlightenment. These texts are studied in depth to trace the origins of violence through time and across civilisations. Developing the groundbreaking work of Raphaël Lemkin, who invented the term 'genocide', Docker guides us from the dawn of agricultural society, through classical civilisation to the present, showing that violence between groups has been integral to all periods of history.
This revealing book will be of great interest to those wishing to understand the roots of genocide and why it persists in the modern age.
Historian and political scientist Guenter Lewy is no stranger to the topic of genocide nor to exploring controversial issues. His penchant for approaching topics from contentious angles continues in Outlawing Genocide Denial, as he scrutinizes the practice of criminalizing genocide denial.
Holocaust denial can be viewed as another form of hatred against the Jews and preventing it can be understood as a form of warding off hate speech. Germany has made it a crime punishable by law. Other European countries have similar laws. While the rationale for such laws seems reasonable, Lewy asks readers to look again and to consider carefully the dangers that these laws could present. His discussion neither dismisses the ramifications of genocide denial nor justifies it; he instead looks closely at the possible risks of government-enforced interpretations of history.
Outlawing genocide denial sets a precedent of allowing governments to dictate historical truth and how events should be interpreted. Such government restrictions can be counterproductive in a democratic society which values freedom of speech. Lewy examines these and related ideas through the analysis of historical and current examples. He posits his own conclusion but leaves it up to readers to view the evidence and arguments and form their own opinions.
How did a powerful concept in international justice evolve into an inequitable response to mass suffering?
For a term coined just seventy-five years ago, genocide has become a remarkably potent idea. But has it transformed from a truly novel vision for international justice into a conservative, even inaccessible term? The Politics of Annihilation traces how the concept of genocide came to acquire such significance on the global political stage. In doing so, it reveals how the concept has been politically contested and refashioned over time. It explores how these shifts implicitly impact what forms of mass violence are considered genocide and what forms are not.
Benjamin Meiches argues that the limited conception of genocide, often rigidly understood as mass killing rooted in ethno-religious identity, has created legal and political institutions that do not adequately respond to the diversity of mass violence. In his insistence on the concept’s complexity, he does not undermine the need for clear condemnations of such violence. But neither does he allow genocide to become a static or timeless notion. Meiches argues that the discourse on genocide has implicitly excluded many forms of violence from popular attention including cases ranging from contemporary Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the legacies of colonial politics in Haiti, Canada, and elsewhere, to the effects of climate change on small island nations.
By mapping the multiplicity of forces that entangle the concept in larger assemblages of power, The Politics of Annihilation gives us a new understanding of how the language of genocide impacts contemporary political life, especially as a means of protesting the social conditions that produce mass violence.
Beginning with the negotiations that concluded with the unanimous adoption of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide on December 9, 1948, and extending to the present day, the United States, Soviet Union/Russia, China, United Kingdom, and France have put forth great effort to ensure that they will not be implicated in the crime of genocide. If this were to fail, they have also ensured that holding any of them accountable for genocide will be practically impossible. By situating genocide prevention in a system of territorial jurisdiction; by excluding protection for political groups and acts constituting cultural genocide from the Genocide Convention; by controlling when genocide is meaningfully named at the Security Council; and by pointing the responsibility to protect in directions away from any of the P-5, they have achieved what can only be described as practical impunity for genocide. The Politics of Genocide is the first book to explicitly demonstrate how the permanent member nations have exploited the Genocide Convention to isolate themselves from the reach of the law, marking them as "outlaw states."
2019 Julian Minghi Distinguished Book Award winner
Scholars from a number of disciplines have, especially since the advent of the war on terror, developed critical perspectives on a cluster of related topics in contemporary life: militarization, surveillance, policing, biopolitics (the relation between state power and physical bodies), and the like. James A. Tyner, a geographer who has contributed to this literature with several highly regarded books, here turns to the bureaucratic roots of genocide, building on insight from Hannah Arendt, Zygmunt Bauman, and others to better understand the Khmer Rouge and its implications for the broader study of life, death, and power.
The Politics of Lists analyzes thousands of newly available Cambodian documents both as sources of information and as objects worthy of study in and of themselves. How, Tyner asks, is recordkeeping implicated in the creation of political authority? What is the relationship between violence and bureaucracy? How can documents, as an anonymous technology capable of conveying great force, be understood in relation to newer technologies like drones? What does data create and what does it destroy? Through a theoretically informed, empirically grounded study of the Khmer Rouge security apparatus, Tyner shows that lists and telegrams have often proved as deadly as bullet and bombs.
In Powerless by Design Michel Feher addresses Western officials’ responses to post–Cold War conflicts and analyzes the reactions of the Left to their governments’ positions. Sometime in the early 1990s, Feher argues, U.S. and European leaders began portraying themselves as the representatives of a new international community. In that capacity, they developed a doctrine that was not only at odds with the rhetoric of the Cold War but also a far cry from the “new world order” announced at the outset of the decade. Whereas their predecessors had invested every regional conflict with an ideological stake, explains Feher, the representatives of this international community claimed that the crises they confronted did not call for partisan involvement. Exemplary of this new approach were Western responses to ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia and genocide in Rwanda. In order to avoid costly interventions, U.S. and European leaders traced these crimes to ancient tribal enmities and professed that the role of the international community should be limited to a humanitarian, impartial, and conciliatory engagement with all the warring parties. They thus managed to appear righteous but powerless, at least until NATO’s intervention in Kosovo. Faced with this doctrine, both the liberal and radical wings of the Western Left found themselves in an uneasy position. Liberals, while lured by their leaders’ humanitarianism were nonetheless disturbed by the dismal results of the policies carried out in the name of the international community. Conversely, anti-imperialist militants were quick to mock the hypocrisy of their governments’ helpless indignation, yet certainly not prepared to demand that Western powers resort to force. Are we still in this “age of the international community”? Feher shows that with NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, both liberal and radical activists suddenly found their mark: the former welcomed the newfound resolve of their governments, while the latter condemned it as the return of the imperialist “new world order.” For Western leaders, however, the war against Serbia proved an accident rather than a turning point. Indeed, less than a year later, their indifference to the destruction of Chechnya by Russian troops suggested that the discursive strategy exposed in Powerless by Design might remain with us for quite some time.
As the initial US observer, David Rawson participated in the 1993 Rwandan peace talks at Arusha, Tanzania. Later, he served as US ambassador to Rwanda during the last months of the doomed effort to make them hold. Despite the intervention of concerned states in establishing a peace process and the presence of an international mission, UNAMIR, the promise of the Arusha Peace Accords could not be realized. Instead, the downing of Rwandan president Habyarimana’s plane in April 1994 rekindled the civil war and opened the door to genocide.
In Prelude to Genocide, Rawson draws on declassified documents and his own experiences to seek out what went wrong. How did the course of political negotiations in Arusha and party wrangling in Kigali, Rwanda, bring to naught a concentrated international effort to establish peace? And what lessons are there for other international humanitarian interventions? The result is a commanding blend of diplomatic history and analysis that is a milestone read on the Rwandan crisis and on what happens when conflict resolution and diplomacy fall short.
Published in partnership with the ADST-DACOR Diplomats and Diplomacy Series.
Reassessing the Cambodian genocide through the lens of global capitalist development.
James Tyner reinterprets the place of agriculture under the Khmer Rouge, positioning it in new ways relative to Marxism, capitalism, and genocide. The Cambodian revolutionaries’ agricultural management is widely viewed by critics as irrational and dangerous, and it is invoked as part of wider efforts to discredit leftist movements. Researching the specific functioning of Cambodia’s transition from farms to agriculture within the context of the global economy, Tyner comes to a different conclusion. He finds that analysis of “actually existing political economy”—as opposed to the Marxist identification the Khmer Rouge claimed—points to overlap between Cambodian practice and agrarian capitalism.
Tyner argues that dissolution of the traditional Khmer family farm under the aegis of state capitalism is central to any understanding of the mass violence unleashed by the Khmer Rouge. Seen less as a radical outlier than as part of a global shift in farming and food politics, the Cambodian tragedy imparts new lessons to our understanding of the political economy of genocide.
Cambodian history is Cold War history, asserts Y-Dang Troeung in Refugee Lifeworlds.Constructing a genealogy of the afterlife of the Cold War in Cambodia, Troeung mines historical archives and family anecdotes to illuminate the refugee experience, and the enduring impact of war, genocide, and displacement in the lives of Cambodian people.
Troeung, a child of refugees herself, employs a method of autotheory that melds critical theory, autobiography, and textual analysis to examine the work of contemporary artists, filmmakers, and authors. She references a proverb about the Cambodian kapok tree that speaks to the silences, persecutions, and modes of resistance enacted during the Cambodian Genocide, and highlights various literary texts, artworks, and films that seek to document and preserve Cambodian histories nearly extinguished by the Khmer Rouge regime.
Addressing the various artistic responses to prisons and camps, issues of trauma, disability, and aphasia, as well as racism and decolonialism, Refugee Lifeworlds repositions Cambodia within the broader transpacific formation of the Cold War. In doing so, Troeung reframes questions of international complicity and responsibility in ways that implicate us all.
2020 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Featured in the 2020 Association of University Presses Book, Jacket, and Journal Show
Why do we allow our governments to get away with “bystanding” to genocide? How can we, when alerted to the mass slaughter of innocents, still not take a stand? Reluctant Interveners provides the most comprehensive answers yet to these confronting questions, focusing on the complex relationships between the citizenry, the media, the political elites, and institutions in the most powerful nation in the world, the United States of America.
Eyal Mayroz offers a sobering account of the interactions between the governing and the governed, and the dynamics which transformed moral concerns for the lives of faraway “others” into cold political calculations. Exposed are the processes that turned the promise of “never again” to a recurring reality of ever again, the role of the office of the presidency in their advancement, and the resultant image of America as seen by the rest of the world. In a time of ubiquitous social media and populist revival, a greater role for the U.S. citizenry in decision-making on responses to genocide may be in the cards. The question is, in which directions will these trends take American foreign policy?
Researching Perpetrators of Genocide
Edited by Kjell Anderson and Erin Jessee University of Wisconsin Press, 2021 Library of Congress HV6322.7.R465 2020 | Dewey Decimal 304.6630721
Researchers often face significant and unique ethical and methodological challenges when conducting qualitative field work among people who have been identified as perpetrators of genocide. This can include overcoming biases that often accompany research on perpetrators; conceptualizing, identifying, and recruiting research subjects; risk mitigation and negotiating access in difficult contexts; self-care in conducting interviews relating to extreme violence; and minimizing harm for interviewees who may themselves be traumatized.
This collection of case studies by scholars from a range of disciplinary backgrounds turns a critical and reflective eye toward qualitative fieldwork on the topic. Framed by an introduction that sets out key issues in perpetrator research and a conclusion that proposes and outlines a code of best practice, the volume provides an essential starting point for future research while advancing genocide studies, transitional justice, and related fields. This original, important, and welcome contribution will be of value to historians, political scientists, criminologists, anthropologists, lawyers, and legal scholars.
From the Holocaust in Europe to the military dictatorships of Latin America to the enduring violence of settler colonialism around the world, genocide has been a defining experience of far too many societies. In many cases, the damaging legacies of genocide lead to continued violence and social divisions for decades. In others, however, creative responses to this identity-based violence emerge from the grassroots, contributing to widespread social and political transformation. Resonant Violence explores both the enduring impacts of genocidal violence and the varied ways in which states and grassroots collectives respond to and transform this violence through memory practices and grassroots activism. By calling upon lessons from Germany, Poland, Argentina, and the Indigenous United States, Resonant Violence demonstrates how ordinary individuals come together to engage with a violent past to pave the way for a less violent future.
In a study that compares the major attempts at genocide in world history, Robert Melson creates a sophisticated framework that links genocide to revolution and war. He focuses on the plights of Jews after the fall of Imperial Germany and of Armenians after the fall of the Ottoman as well as attempted genocides in the Soviet Union and Cambodia. He argues that genocide often is the end result of a complex process that starts when revolutionaries smash an old regime and, in its wake, try to construct a society that is pure according to ideological standards.
The Genocide Convention was drafted by the United Nations in the late 1940s, as a response to the horrors of the Second World War. But was the Genocide Convention truly effective at achieving its humanitarian aims, or did it merely exacerbate the divisive rhetoric of Cold War geopolitics?
A Rhetorical Crime shows how genocide morphed from a legal concept into a political discourse used in propaganda battles between the United States and the Soviet Union. Over the course of the Cold War era, nearly eighty countries were accused of genocide, and yet there were few real-time interventions to stop the atrocities committed by genocidal regimes like the Cambodian Khmer Rouge.
Renowned genocide scholar Anton Weiss-Wendt employs a unique comparative approach, analyzing the statements of Soviet and American politicians, historians, and legal scholars in order to deduce why their moral posturing far exceeded their humanitarian action.
After the staggering horrors of World War II and the Holocaust, the United Nations resolved to prevent and punish the crime of genocide throughout the world. The resulting UN Genocide Convention treaty, however, was drafted, contested, and weakened in the midst of Cold War tensions and ideological struggles between the Soviet Union and the West.
Based on extensive archival research, Anton Weiss-Wendt reveals in detail how the political aims of the superpowers rendered the convention a weak instrument for addressing abuses against human rights. The Kremlin viewed the genocide treaty as a political document and feared repercussions. What the Soviets wanted most was to keep the subjugation of Eastern Europe and the vast system of forced labor camps out of the genocide discourse. The American Bar Association and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, in turn, worried that the Convention contained vague formulations that could be used against the United States, especially in relation to the plight of African Americans. Sidelined in the heated discussions, Weiss-Wendt shows, were humanitarian concerns for preventing future genocides.
Though the world was stunned by the horrific massacres of Tutsi by the Hutu majority in Rwanda beginning in April 1994, there has been little coverage of the reprisals that occurred after the Tutsi gained political power. During this time hundreds of thousands of Hutu were systematically hunted and killed. Surviving the Slaughter: The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire is the eyewitness account of Marie Béatrice Umutesi. She tells of life in the refugee camps in Zaire and her flight across 2000 kilometers on foot. During this forced march, far from the world’s cameras, many Hutu refugees were trampled and murdered. Others died from hunger, exhaustion, and sickness, or simply vanished, ignored by the international community and betrayed by humanitarian organizations. Amidst this brutality, day-to-day suffering, and desperate survival, Umutesi managed to organize the camps to improve the quality of life for women and children.
In this first-hand account of inexplicable brutality, day-to-day suffering, and survival, Marie Béatrice Umutesi sheds light on a backlash of violence that targeted the Hutu refugees of Rwanda after the victory of the Rwandan Patriotic Front in 1994. Umutesi’s documentation of the flight and terror of these years provides the world a veritable account of a history that is still widely unknown. After translations from its original French into three other languages, this important book is available in English for the first time. It is more than a testimony to the lives and humanity lost; it is a call for those politicians, military personnel, and humanitarian organizations responsible for the atrocious crimes—and the devastating silence—to be held accountable.
“Umutesi’s tale, told with honesty and eloquence, is a tribute to the human spirit, a searing indictment of the agents who perpetrated these horrors, and a reproach to those who turned away.”—Catharine Newbury, African Studies Review
“Restores a human dimension that has been lacking in the history of the genocide and massacres in Rwanda.”—Danielle de Lame, African Studies Review
“A vivid account of the grueling nightmare experienced by tens of thousands of Rwandan civilians whom the world had deliberately forsaken. . . . An outstanding call for justice.”—Aloys Habimama, African Studies Review
“A towering work. . . . An epic for our times, a tale to ponder for the lessons it conveys, testimony so powerful and moving that it reaches an unintended literary greatness.”—Jan Vansina, African Studies Review
“Of all the current books and films ten years after the Rwandan genocide, none is more effective than Surviving the Slaughter . . . . This book carries one along, often as if running with the refugees.”—Anne Serafin, Multicultural Review
Suspended Apocalypse is a rich and provocative meditation on the emergence of the Filipino American as a subject of history. Culling from historical, popular, and ethnographic archives, Dylan Rodríguez provides a sophisticated analysis of the Filipino presence in the American imaginary. Radically critiquing current conceptions of Filipino American identity, community, and history, he puts forth a genealogy of Filipino genocide, rooted in the early twentieth-century military, political, and cultural subjugation of the Philippines by the United States.
Suspended Apocalypse critically addresses what Rodríguez calls "Filipino American communion," interrogating redemptive and romantic notions of Filipino migration and settlement in the United States in relation to larger histories of race, colonial conquest, and white supremacy. Contemporary popular and scholarly discussions of the Filipino American are, he asserts, inseparable from their origins in the violent racist regimes of the United States and its historical successor, liberal multiculturalism.
Rodríguez deftly contrasts the colonization of the Philippines with present-day disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Mount Pinatubo to show how the global subjection of Philippine, black, and indigenous peoples create a linked history of genocide. But in these juxtapositions, Rodríguez finds moments and spaces of radical opportunity. Engaging the violence and disruption of the Filipino condition sets the stage, he argues, for the possibility of a transformation of the political lens through which contemporary empire might be analyzed, understood, and perhaps even overcome.
TESTIMONY: DEATH OF A GUATEMALAN VILLAGE is an eyewitness account by a Guatemalan primary school teacher detailing one instance of violent conflict between the indigenous Maya people and the army. An accidental clash between the village's "civil patrol" and a Guatemalan army troop leads to the execution or imprisonment of many villagers. Written in clear, direct prose, this account reads like an adventure story while conveying an historical reality. This vital and essential record captures how Guatemala's 36-year civil war, which reached its most violent peak in the 1980s, ripped the traditional fabric of Guatemalan society.
Listen to a short interview with James DawesHost: Chris Gondek | Producer: Heron & Crane
After the worst thing in the world happens, then what? What is left to the survivors, the witnesses, those who tried to help? What can we do to prevent more atrocities from happening in the future, and to stop the ones that are happening right now? That the World May Know tells the powerful and moving story of the successes and failures of the modern human rights movement. Drawing on firsthand accounts from fieldworkers around the world, the book gives a painfully clear picture of the human cost of confronting inhumanity in our day.
There is no dearth of such stories to tell, and James Dawes begins with those that emerged from the Rwandan genocide. Who, he asks, has the right to speak for the survivors and the dead, and how far does that right go? How are these stories used, and what does this tell us about our collective moral future? His inquiry takes us to a range of crises met by a broad array of human rights and humanitarian organizations. Here we see from inside the terrible stresses of human rights work, along with its curious seductions, and the myriad paradoxes and quandaries it presents.
With pathos, compassion, and a rare literary grace, this book interweaves personal stories, intellectual and political questions, art and aesthetics, and actual "news" to give us a compelling picture of humanity at its conflicted best, face-to-face with humanity at its worst.
In this pioneering volume, Robert Skloot brings together four plays—three of which are published here for the first time—that fearlessly explore the face of modern genocide. The scripts deal with the destruction of four targeted populations: Armenians in Lorne Shirinian’s Exile in the Cradle, Cambodians in Catherine Filloux’s Silence of God, Bosnian Muslims in Kitty Felde’s A Patch of Earth, and Rwandan Tutsis in Erik Ehn’s Maria Kizito. Taken together, these four plays erase the boundaries of theatrical realism to present stories that probe the actions of the perpetrators and the suffering of their victims. A major artistic contribution to the study of the history and effects of genocide, this collection carries on the important journey toward understanding the terror and trauma to which the modern world has so often been witness.
A Financial Times Book of the Year A Foreign Affairs Book of the Year A Spectator Book of the Year
“A landmark contribution to the study of these epochal events.” —Times Literary Supplement
“Brilliantly researched and written…casts a careful eye upon the ghastly events that took place in the final decades of the Ottoman empire, when its rulers decided to annihilate their Christian subjects…Hitler and the Nazis gleaned lessons from this genocide that they then applied to their own efforts to extirpate Jews.” —Jacob Heilbrun, The Spectator
Between 1894 and 1924, three waves of violence swept across Anatolia, targeting the region’s Christian minorities. By 1924, the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks, once nearly a quarter of the population, had been reduced to 2 percent. Most historians have treated these waves as distinct, isolated events, and successive Turkish governments presented them as an unfortunate sequence of accidents. The Thirty-Year Genocide is the first account to show that all three were actually part of a single, continuing, and intentional effort to wipe out Anatolia’s Christian population. Despite the dramatic swing from the Islamizing autocracy of the sultan to the secularizing republicanism of the post–World War I period, the nation’s annihilationist policies were remarkably constant, with continual recourse to premeditated mass killing, homicidal deportation, forced conversion, and mass rape. And one thing more was a constant: the rallying cry of jihad. While not justified under the teachings of Islam, the killing of two million Christians was effected through the calculated exhortation of the Turks to create a pure Muslim nation.
“A subtle diagnosis of why, at particular moments over a span of three decades, Ottoman rulers and their successors unleashed torrents of suffering.” —Bruce Clark, New York Times Book Review
In this definitive study, Lawrence J. LeBlanc examines the nearly forty-year struggle over ratification of the Genocide Convention by the United States. LeBlanc’s analysis of the history of the convention and the issues and problems surrounding its ratification sheds important light on the process of treaty ratification in the United States and on the role of American public opinion and political culture in international human rights legislation. Drawing on case studies of genocide committed since World War II, the author also confronts the strengths and weaknesses of international adjudication as a whole. Adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948 in response to the atrocities committed by the Nazis before and during World War II, the Genocide Convention was finally made law by the United States Senate in 1988 contingent upon a series of “conditions”—known as the “Lugar-Helms-Hatch Sovereignty Package”—which, LeBlanc suggests, markedly weakened the convention. Through careful analysis of the bitter debates over ratification, LeBlanc demonstrates that much of the opposition to the convention sprang from fears that it would be used domestically as a tool by groups such as blacks and Native Americans who might hold the U.S. accountable for genocide in matters of race relations.
In the three years, eight months, and twenty days of the Khmer Rouge’s deadly reign over Cambodia, an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians perished as a result of forced labor, execution, starvation, and disease. Despite the passage of more than thirty years, two regime shifts, and a contested U.N. intervention, only one former Khmer Rouge official has been successfully tried and sentenced for crimes against humanity in an international court of law to date. It is against this background of war, genocide, and denied justice that Cathy J. Schlund-Vials explores the work of 1.5-generation Cambodian American artists and writers.
Drawing on what James Young labels “memory work”—the collected articulation of large-scale human loss—War, Genocide, and Justice investigates the remembrance work of Cambodian American cultural producers through film, memoir, and music. Schlund-Vials includes interviews with artists such as Anida Yoeu Ali, praCh Ly, Sambath Hy, and Socheata Poeuv. Alongside the enduring legacy of the Killing Fields and post-9/11 deportations of Cambodian American youth, artists potently reimagine alternative sites for memorialization, reclamation, and justice. Traversing borders, these artists generate forms of genocidal remembrance that combat amnesic politics and revise citizenship practices in the United States and Cambodia.
Engaged in politicized acts of resistance, individually produced and communally consumed, Cambodian American memory work represents a significant and previously unexamined site of Asian American critique.
During a one-hundred-day period in 1994, Hutus murdered between half a million and a million Tutsi in Rwanda. The numbers are staggering; the methods of killing were unspeakable. Utilizing personal interviews with trauma survivors living in Rwandan cities, towns, and dusty villages, We Cannot Forget relates what happened during this period and what their lives were like both prior to and following the genocide.
Through powerful stories that are at once memorable, disturbing, and informative, readers gain a critical sense of the tensions and violence that preceded the genocide, how it erupted and was carried out, and what these people faced in the first sixteen years following the genocide.
Stevan M. Weine is a psychiatrist who has spent the past decade working with Bosnian survivors of ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia. As he listened to their testimonies, Weine concluded that these narratives were capable of bearing a complex truth about the horrific events in Yugoslavia that often were lost in more analytic works on the subject. When History is a Nightmare also explores how these traumatic events affected not just individuals, but an entire society and its culture.
Weine investigates the survivors’ attempts to reconcile the contrasting, collective memories of having lived in a smoothly functioning, multiethnic society with the later memories of the ethnic atrocities. He discusses the little-known group concept of merhamet. Denoting compassion, forgiveness, and charity, merhamet was a critical cultural value for the Bosnian Muslims.
Weine also explores how ethnic cleansing was justified from the vantage point of psychiatrists who played prominent roles in instigating the horrors. He also provides personal portraits of leaders such as Jovan Raskovic and Radovan Karadzic. He concludes by describing the recovery efforts of survivors—how they work to confront the destructive nature of their memories while trying to bring about healing, both individually and collectively.
In Who Counts? Diane M. Nelson explores the social life of numbers, teasing out the myriad roles math plays in Guatemalan state violence, economic exploitation, and disenfranchisement, as well as in Mayan revitalization and grassroots environmental struggles. In the aftermath of thirty-six years of civil war, to count—both numerically and in the sense of having value—is a contested and qualitative practice of complex calculations encompassing war losses, migration, debt, and competing understandings of progress. Nelson makes broad connections among seemingly divergent phenomena, such as debates over reparations for genocide victims, Ponzi schemes, and antimining movements. Challenging the presumed objectivity of Western mathematics, Nelson shows how it flattens social complexity and becomes a raced, classed, and gendered skill that colonial powers considered beyond the grasp of indigenous peoples. Yet the Classic Maya are famous for the precision of their mathematics, including conceptualizing zero long before Europeans. Nelson shows how Guatemala's indigenous population is increasingly returning to Mayan numeracy to critique systemic inequalities with the goal of being counted—in every sense of the word.