2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

CHIST 1150 FYS: Genocide and the International Community

The First-Year Seminar (FYS) seeks to elevate the intellectual curiosity of first-year students and to help them integrate into the academic community of the University. From the Armenian Genocide in 1915 to systematic atrocities against civilians in Darfur, murder on a mass scale is one of the most troubling crimes against humanity, and one of the only crimes that the international community is legally obligated to prevent and punish. Yet, since the signing of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide in 1948, the number of times the international community did not intervene to prevent genocide are as numerous as these events themselves. This course examines the history of mass killings and international (non)intervention from 1914 to the present from the perspective of perpetrators, victims, bystanders. Using historical documents, memoirs, and films, we will interrogate the political, social, and cultural reasons behind why people kill, why no one stops them, and what more could have been done.