Instructor: Dr. Linda M. Woolf
- Totten, S., Parsons, W. S., & Charny, I. W. (Eds.). (1997). Century of genocide: Eyewitness accounts and critical views. New York: Garland Publishing.
- Selected readings to be provided or placed on reserve in the library - each noted below.
Course Description:We live in a time of unparalleled instances of democide, genocide and ethnocide. In fact, governmental policies have resulted in over 170 million deaths during this century (1900-1987) and this figure excludes war deaths (Rummel, 1995). As Rummel states, "It surpasses the 1987 population of all but six nations in the world". These statistics of course do not include the more recent deaths due to genocide/democide and underestimates the additional toll on human life from physical and psychological scarring.
While most individuals are aware of the Holocaust (although they often do not realize the extent of the brutality and actual cost in terms of human life), many are not aware of other past genocides/democides or of current genocides/democides. For example, many individuals remain unaware of the Armenian genocide in Turkey, the killing fields of Cambodia, the disappearances in Argentina & Chile, the death squad killings in El Salvador, or Stalin's purges. Many are unaware of recent events that have resulted in genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda/Burundi or the extreme violations of human rights and genocidal policies by the governments of China (including Tibet), Myanmar (Burma), Laos, and Indonesia (including the genocide of the East Timorese).
The Holocaust, the genocides in Turkey, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda . . . the disappearances in Argentina, the death squad killings in El Salvador, . . . violence, torture, the mistreatment of human beings . . . . All of these raise questions about evil. This course will examine the psychological, cultural, and societal roots of human cruelty, mass violence, and genocide. We will examine the questions of what enables individuals collectively and individually to perpetrate evil/genocide and examine the impact of apathetic bystanders on human violence.
Course Objectives and Outcomes:
- Objective: To examine the nature of evil and its differential impact on victims vs. perpetrators.
- Objective: To examine the differences between the terms genocide, democide, ethnocide, and other forms of mass violence.
- Objective: To become more knowledgeable concerning the interaction of psychological, sociological, cultural, and/or political roots of evil, human cruelty, mass violence, and genocide.
- Objectives: To become familiar with a psychosocial theory of evil and the application of this theory to the perpetration of genocide and mass violence in Nazi Germany, Turkey, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and various indigenous cultures.
- Objective: To examine the nature of bystander behavior and the impact of bystander behavior on the perpetration of genocide.
- Objectives: To examine the question of what can be done to prevent human cruelty, mass violence, and genocide.
- Objective: For students to be able to take all of the above information and apply it to a current or historical instance of individual and collective instance of human cruelty, mass violence, or genocide.
ANSO 1010 or ANSO 1070 and 6 credit hours of social science, or PSYC 1030 and 6 credit hours of psychology, or permission of the instructor. All students should be capable of integrating and evaluating information, critical thinking, and writing at the college level.
The class will meet on Wednesday from 2:00 - 4:50. Classroom attendance as expected and class discussion will greatly enhance your understanding of the material presented in this class. Also, material will be presented that is not in any of the books and class participation/discussion will constitute a percentage of your final grade.
This course will be challenging for several reasons. First, it entails a fair amount of reading. If this is to be a good class, it is essential for everyone to do the reading, come to class, and be prepared to participate in the discussion. Second, this course is difficult because of its almost unrelieved concentration on human suffering and extreme, deliberately inflicted cruelty; the information presented in this class is difficult to read and difficult to discuss. There will be opportunities for class members to discuss thoughts and feelings that arise during the course.
Course Requirements:Three exams, group presentation, a term paper analyzing an instance of mass violence/genocide, and class participation/discussion.
All grades will be assigned on a scale of 0 - 10 with:
90 - 100 A-,A Excellent 80 - 89 B-,B,B+ Above Average 70 - 79 C-,C,C+ Average 60 - 69 D-,D,D+ Below Average Less than 60 F Failing
Percent of Grade:
Examinations 60% Group presentation 15% Analysis Paper 20% Class Part./Disc. 5%
Examinations: The exams are designed to test for an understanding of the terms, theories, ideas, and historical events related to evil, human cruelty, mass violence, and genocide as presented in text, readings, lecture, and discussion. The exams will include multiple choice, matching, short answer, and essay. Each exam will be worth 20% of your final grade.Policy: All exams must be taken on the date scheduled. In case of an emergency, the instructor must be notified. No make-up exams will be give if you fail to notify and discuss your situation with the instructor. It is up to the instructor's discretion whether to offer or not offer a make-up exam. Please note that no extra credit work will be make available to make-up for a poor test grade.Group Presentations The purpose of the group presentation is to provide individuals the opportunity to explore any area of interest related to genocide and present this information to the class. Topics, group selection, specific instructions, and date of presentation will be discussed the first week of class. The group presentation is worth 15% of your final grade.
Analysis Paper: The purpose of the analysis paper is to provide you, the student, with the opportunity to explore the collective perpetration of genocide from a psychological/ sociological/cultural/political perspective in depth. Specific instructions will be discussed in class. Students will be given a choice of recent/current instances of genocide/mass violence that are open for analysis/exploration. Any analysis that is not one of the assigned options must be approved in writing by the instructor. The analysis paper is worth 20% of your final grade.
Class Participation & Discussion: Please realize that your participation in this class is extremely important. As such, class participation will constitute 5 percent of your final grade. The class participation grade will derive from regular attendance and everyday discussion and analysis. Please be aware that skipping class (unexcused absences) will impact your grade in this area.
Plagiarism (attempting to pass off the work of another as one's own) is not acceptable and will result in a grade of 0 for that assignment and will be turned over to the appropriate university source for disciplinary action. In addition, cheating on exams will also result in the same fate.Late withdraws from this class will not be approved by the instructor except in cases of emergency discussed with the instructor. No late withdraws will be approved on the basis of poor class performance.
This syllabus is subject to change at the instructor's discretion. All changes concerning course requirements will be provided in writing. Changes concerning exam dates may be made at the instructor*s discretion and communicated verbally to the class.
It is understood that remaining in this course (not dropping or withdrawing from this course) constitutes an agreement to abide by the terms outlined in this syllabus and an acceptance of the requirements outlined in this document. No grade of Incomplete will be issued for this course.
Date Topic and Readings January 14 Introduction to the Class
What is "evil"?
Perpetrator vs. Victims
What is Genocide?
- The New Concept of Democide in Death by Government by R. Rummel
- A Century of Genocide - Forward and Genocide of the Hereros - Chapter 1
January 21 Genocide/Mass Killing: Core Concepts
Towards A Psycho-Social Model of Genocide
- Psychosocial roots of genocide: Risk, prevention, and intervention by L. Woolf & M. Hulsizer
January 28 Towards A Psycho-Social Model of Genocide continued
- A Study of Prisoners and Guards in a Simulated Prison by Craig Haney, Curtis Banks, & Philip Zimbardo in The Social Animal edited by E. Aronson.
- Behavioral Study of Obedience by Stanley Milgram in The Social Animal edited by E. Aronson
- Opinions and Social Pressure by Solomon Asch in The Social Animal edited by E. Aronson
- Moral exclusion and injustice: An introduction by Susan Opotow In Journal of Social Issues (Spring 1990)
- Social Circumstances and Factors That Incite the Upsurge of Nationalism in The Mass Psychology of Ethnonationalism by D. Kecmanovic
February 4 Psychology of Perpetrators
- Mass Hate: The Personality of the Perpetrator by Neil Kressel
Continuum of Destruction: Perpetrators and Bystanders
The Nazi Holocaust
- Century of Genocide: Holocaust: The Jews - Chapter 5
- Century of Genocide: Holocaust: The Gypsies - Chapter 6
- Century of Genocide: Holocaust: Disabled Peoples - Chapter 7
Exam I (Week 5)
The Genocide in Cambodia
- Century of Genocide: The Cambodian Genocide - Chapter 12
Spring Break March 17 The Turkish Genocide of the Armenians
- Provocation or Nationalism: A Critical Inquiry into the Armenian Genocide of 1915 by Robert Melson in The Armenian Genocide in Perspective edited by R. Hovannisian
- Century of Genocide: Armenian genocide - Chapter 2
Term/Analysis Paper Due
March 24 The Genocide in Bosnia
- Mass Hate: Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia by Neil Kressel
- Intrastate Conflict and Sustainable Development by W. Q. Morales in The Coming Age of Scarcity edited by M. N. Dobkowskin and I. Wallimann
- Century of Genocide: Genocide in Bosnia-Herzegovina - Afterword
The Genocides in Burundi & Rwanda
- Smith, D. N. (1998). The psychocultural roots of genocide: Legitimacy and crisis in Rwanda. American Psychologist, 53, 743-753.
- Postcolonial Genocide by D. N. Smith in The Coming Age of Scarcity edited by M. N. Dobkowskin and I. Wallimann
- The Triumph of Evil Web Site
- Century of Genocide: The Burundi Genocide - Chapter 11
- Century of Genocide: The Rwanda Genocide - Chapter 14
Physical and Cultural Genocide of Various Indigenous Peoples
- Century of Genocide: The Indonesian Massacres - Chapter 8
- Century of Genocide: Genocide in East Timor - Chapter 9
- Century of Genocide: Genocide in Bangladesh - Chapter 10
- Century of Genocide: Indigenous Peoples - Chapter 13
April 28 Towards peaceful coexistence
- Psychosocial roots of genocide: Risk, prevention, and intervention by L. Woolf & M. Hulsizer
- duPreez, P. (1997). In search of genocide: A comparison of Rwanda and South Africa. Peace an Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology (Special Issue: Understanding Conflict and Promoting Peace: Contributions from South Africa), 3, 245-259.
May 5 Final course wrap-up/discussion
|Woolf Home Page|