MA Humanitarianism and Conflict Response / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
Humanitarianism and Genocide
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course will introduce students to a global history of genocide and examine humanitarian responses to mass violence past and present. It is structured in three parts: first we will discuss definitions of genocide and why they matter; second we will look at various humanitarian actors in twentieth century genocides; and third we will explore the memory and memorialisation of genocides within and beyond the humanitarian sector. The module will draw on a wide range of fields (genocide studies, peace and conflict studies, public history and memory studies, international law, etc.) and case studies such as the Aboriginal populations in Australia and Canada, children during the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust, and the work of Médecins Sans Frontières during the Rwandan genocide.
This course will be delivered using a blended learning approach with workshops taking place on campus and lectures delivered asynchronously.
¿ Deepen critical reasoning and intellectual curiosity
¿ Strengthen written and oral communication skills
¿ Engage critically with a wide range of academic literature in genocide and humanitarian studies
¿ Reflect on the long-term influence of the past on public debates, policy frameworks, and humanitarian action
¿ Understand the wider usefulness of humanities and social science for the humanitarian sector
1. What is a genocide? The UN convention and beyond
2. The politics of genocide definition and recognition. The case of the Armenian genocide
II. Humanitarian actors
3. Colonialism, humanitarian governance, and the notion of cultural genocide
4. Child rescue during the Armenian genocide and the Holocaust
5. The Red Cross during the Holocaust
6. Humanitarian responses in the aftermath of the Cambodian genocide
7. The UN in Srebrenica 8. MSF in Rwanda
III. Memory and representations
9. The Holocaust in humanitarian discourse
10. The museums of genocides, dark tourism, and memorialisation
Teaching and learning methods
The principal teaching and learning methods will be the lecture and the workshop. Lectures will be asynchronous (recorded videos, guided readings, etc.). Workshops will include class exercises and student-led discussion. All materials will be available on Blackboard. 10x1 hour asynchronous lectures 10x1 hour workshops
Knowledge and understanding
¿ Gain a global understanding and historical overview of genocide and mass violence and how humanitarian actors have responded to it
¿ Learn about specific case studies
¿ Identify the evolutions of legal, practical, and cultural understandings of genocide and the potential conflicts of interpretation between them
¿ Identify the ambiguities of humanitarian work in situations of extreme violence
¿ Grasp the challenges of conducting historical and social research on humanitarian response and mass violence
¿ Critically engage with a wide range of disciplines and materials around genocide and mass violence
¿ Familiarise yourself with many different geographical and chronological settings
¿ Develop a critical understanding of the methodological challenges of history writing and their relevance beyond the discipline.
¿ Further develop awareness of current humanitarian issues around mass violence and genocide prevention
¿ Gain a strong understanding of policy brief writing
¿ Demonstrate analytical and debating skills with peers and tutor
¿ Demonstrate efficiency and creativity in writing
¿ Show effective use of library resources and search engines to gather information
Transferable skills and personal qualities
¿ Interpretation and argumentation (written and oral)
¿ Interpersonal skills
¿ Project and time management
¿ Cultural and ethical awareness
- ¿ Analytical and intellectual skills (written and oral) ¿ Communication and Presentation skills ¿ Interpersonal skills ¿ Research skills ¿ Meeting deadlines ¿ Working autonomously and in groups
|Written assignment (inc essay)||70%|
|Feedback method||Formative or Summative|
¿ Bloxham Donald and Moses Dirk (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Genocide Studies, Oxford University Press, 2010.
¿ Bradol Jean-Hervé and Le Pape Marc, Humanitarian Aid, Genocide and Mass Killings: Médecins Sans Frontières, the Rwandan Experience, 1982–97, Manchester University Press, 2017.
¿ Dean Carolyn, The Moral Witness: Trials and Testimony After Genocide, Cornell University Press, 2019.
¿ Lal Vinay, ‘The concentration camp and development: the pasts and future of genocide’, Patterns of Prejudice, 39, 2, 2005, 220-243.
¿ Lester Alan and Dussart Fae (eds), Colonization and the Origins of Humanitarian Governance: Protecting Aborigines across the Nineteenth-Century British Empire, Cambridge University Press, 2014.
¿ Sémelin Jacques, ‘What is “Genocide”?’, European Review of History: Revue européenne d'histoire, 12:1, 2005, 81-89.
¿ Steinacher Gerald, Humanitarians at war: the Red Cross in the shadow of the Holocaust, Oxford University Press, 2017.
¿ Totten Samuel (ed), Plight and Fate of Children During and Following Genocide, Routledge, 2014.
¿ Whitt Laurelyn and Clarke Alan, North American Genocides. Indigenous Nations, Settler Colonialism, and International Law, Cambridge University Press, 2019.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Antoine Burgard||Unit coordinator|
|Bertrand Taithe||Unit coordinator|
|Jessica Hawkins||Unit coordinator|