Representations of Genocide, LIT 350/ GEN 350
Article II of the United
Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide
“defines genocide as the commission of certain acts with the intent to destroy,
in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group” (The
United Nations Convention 1948). Starting with theoretical and legal
understandings of genocide and studying different examples of it, this course
will move into addressing how the experiences of genocide, as well as its
literary and cultural representations, are gendered. Through various literary
and theoretical readings, the course will look at the ways in which a gendered
analysis of genocide has developed, moving away from essentialism, which
represents women as passive victims of men’s brutality, and becoming more
inclusive by addressing women’s role as perpetrators of genocide as well as
men’s victimization. It will also analyze how this gendered analysis plays out
in the public sphere through literature, commemorations, monuments, and
museums. Students will take part in deconstructing the dominant gender
narratives in genocidal contexts. The course includes two mandatory field trips,
visiting monuments and museums about the Anfal genocide.
who successfully complete this course will be able to do
Define genocide and become familiar with
various understandings of it;
Distinguish the different historical
contexts for genocide and identify root causes for conflict leading to it;
Analyze the ways that genocide, gender,
and representation interact;
Critically engage with gendered
representations in literature, monuments and museums in post-conflict
Evaluate the way literary and cultural
representations of gender in the context of genocide impact survivors’
experiences and positions in society.
They will practice critical reasoning by:
Comprehending the difference between
opinion and knowledge, description and judgment.
Understanding and analyzing
arguments, and making sound arguments of their own.
Joining cause to effect in the social
Relating the past to the present and
And they will develop skills in:
Translating their reasoning into
speaking and writing.
Using appropriate techniques and
technology to further their intellectual and creative endeavors.
Express their own opinions,
thoughts, reflections, and questions at this point in their lives – knowing
that those opinions, thoughts, reflections, and questions will change over time
– which is expected for intellectual / philosophical thought process and
Critical Reading: Analyze,
interpret, and synthesize diverse sources of information.
Critical Thinking: Consider problems
in a clear, reasoned manner that is informed by evidence and recognizes bias.
Communication: Engage in
intellectual debate and present ideas and arguments in a clear, logical manner
in writing and speech.
Research: Define and execute
original research projects based on a solid understanding of social scientific
theories and methods.