Ethical Responses to Genocide

Fall Courses 2017
JST 204 01W and 02W: An Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide Studies: Stories of Resistance, Rescue, and Survival

Home

David Pettigrew, PhD,
Philosophy Department,
Southern Connecticut State University

email: pettigrewd1@southernct.edu


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***Syllabus***

SCSU Fall 2017 August 29, 2017 - December 17, 2017 Professor Pettigrew, Office: EN D212, x26778

JST 204 01W MWF 10:10am- 11:00am, Engleman Hall B216

JST 204 02W MWF 11:10am- 12:00noon, Engleman Hall B216

Office Hours: M 2-5pm TR 2-3pm, and by appointment.

JST 204 01W: and 02W An Introduction to Holocaust and Genocide Studies: Stories of Resistance, Rescue, and Survival (An LEP Tier II Global Awareness course)

My primary concern is with your academic achievement as part of our intellectual community at Southern Connecticut State University. In other words, I care about your learning and your success in our class as well as in your other classes and beyond. With this in mind, I have designed a syllabus and website, along with clarifications, scheduling, written assignments, reading guides, web links, draft introductions for papers, and other elements, to support your learning. I encourage you to study the course syllabus carefully. I am available in class and during my office hours to support your engagement of the reading assignments, films, web materials and other learning resources. I am available in class and during my office hours to support your accomplishment of the written assignments. Our course syllabus is designed to help you achieve academic success within the context of the learning objectives (See Appendix A: Learning Objectives). Once again, do not hesitate to ask questions, I am here to help you.

Please note: I do not engage in email correspondence with students. All essential course information is outlined in detail in the syllabus . The content of the course is addressed during class time. "Office hours," are also an alternative for further discussion and clarfication. In fact, you are required to bring me first drafts of a number of your assignments during my office hours prior to the due date. All assignments are announced well in advance -- along with detailed instructions--of the due date. If you are unable to meet during the announced office hours we can find a time to meet that will accommodate your schedule. If you wish, you can email me to explain why you will not be in class or why you were not in class (see my attendance policy). If you have a question about the readings or the class discussions that you did not have the chance to ask in class you can send that question to me in an email and I will then address your question in a subsequent class or during office hours.

Our course will revolve around close readings of texts, critical viewings and discussions of films, dialogical class discussions and written assignments (analytical, argumentative essays). A series of four written assignments will help further refine your writing and critical thinking skills in many respects, including your ability to identify the thesis, to organize the paper, to focus in each respective section of the paper, to cite relevant passages from required sources, and to craft a synthetic conclusion. (*Please see a further discussion related to our written assignments below at “*I. Written Assignments and Grades”).

Our course will investigate the manipulation, by political leaders, of historical prejudices, fears, and hatreds in the case of each of the genocides (e.g., Armenian genocide, Holocaust, and the genocides in Bosnia, and Rwanda). In each case the hatred of the other was activated through a process of dehumanization and demonization, whether targeted at the “Turks” (in Bosnia) or the “Inyenzi” (Tutsis in Rwanda). In each case we will investigate an “apparatus of genocide,” including, for example, the systematic process of dehumanization, the use of media to propagate demonizing stereotypes, hate speech and racist rhetoric. In each case we will study specific details with respect to the singularity of the suffering of the human beings who were systematically dehumanized.) In this process students will learn about the historical, geographical and cultural dimensions relevant to each of the genocides. Through our readings, films, discussions, and written assignments, we will draw critical analogies between the Holocaust as well as the genocides in the Ottoman Empire (Armenian genocide), Bosnia, and Rwanda. For example, we can consider the extent to which, in each case, political leaders manipulated dehumanizing stereotypes for political gain. Further, we can consider the extent to which the dehumanization of the victims led to a devaluation that led in turn to catastrophic violence against the victims. We will use the analogies as an aid to understanding the individual cases. By identifying a significant similarity between the Holocaust and the genocides in the Ottoman Empire (Armenian genocide) and in Bosnia, for example, we can speculate about strategies for preventing such dehumanizing rhetoric by political leaders. In other words, by recognizing an operative model in different cases, students will investigate a basis for addressing the problem of genocide as such. As a result of such interdisciplinary analyses of the causes of genocide, along with the consideration of stories of resistance, rescue and survival, we will brainstorm about possible strategies for genocide prevention through modes of intervention and education.

Week One: Introductory Remarks concerning our Syllabus and our Inquiries in Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Selected Reading:
Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Preface and Chapter 1

***(Please note: You are always required to have the assigned readings ***with you in class***. We will undertake a close, detailed (line-by-line) reading and analysis of selected passages in class. This will be the work that is at the core of the educational experience of the class. Many of these passages that we will discuss and interpret will be essential in your written assignments. The books are available for your purchase in the bookstore or in some cases will be provided in photocopied form.)

Week Two: An Introduction to Raphael Lemkin and to the Armenian Genocide.

Selected Reading:
Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Chapter 2.

Required Film: Ararat. DVD. Directed by Atom Agoyan. Canada/France, 2002. On reserve in Buley library and available for purchase on-line.

Week Three: Armenian Genocide

Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Chapters 3-4.

Jones, Adam. “The Armenian Genocide.” Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2010.

Week Four: Armenian Genocide

Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Chapter 5.

Kiernan, Ben. “The Armenian Genocide: National Chauvinism in the Waning Ottoman Empire.” Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.

Armenian Refugees 1915-1916 Photographed by Armin Wegner http://www.armenian-genocide.org/photo_wegner.html

First written assignment: Detailed instructions for each written assignment as well as the due-date and time will be distributed well in advance of the assignment.

Week Five: The Holocaust

Fry, Varian. Surrender on Demand. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 1997. (photocopy) Selected chapters: “Foreword,” “Original Unpublished Foreword.”

Varian Fry, New York Times article, July 17, 1935.

Required Film: Varian’s War. DVD. Directed by Lionel Chetwynd. UK/USA/Canada, 2001. On reserve in Buley Library. Available on-line.

Weeks Six and Seven: The Holocaust

Binding, Karl and Hoche, Alfred. The Release of the Destruction of Life Devoid of Value. Translated and Edited with Commentary by R.L. Sassone. A Life Quality Paperback, 1975. (selected passages photocopied).

Levi, Primo. Survival at Auschwitz. New York: Touchstone, 1996. Selected chapters: Chapter 1 “The Journey,”
Chapter 2 “On the Bottom,”
Chapter 3 “Initiation”,
Chapter 4 “Ka-Be,”
Chapter 9 “The Drowned and the Saved,”
Chapter 11” The Canto of Ulysses.”

We will also study the following links on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum website and others:
1) Antisemitism, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005175
2) Kindertransport 1938-1940, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005260
3) Theresienstadt, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005424
4) Entartete Kunst ["Degenerate Art”],
http://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=670
ADDITIONAL SOURCES RE: "Degenerate Art* (Each source refers to Marc Chagall)
http://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/degenerate-art-the-attack-on-modern-art-in-nazi-germany-1937
http://www.philamuseum.org/research/98-108.html?page=2
5) Kristallnacht, A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10, 1938, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005201;
6) Euthanasia killings, http://www.ushmm.org/learn/students/learning-materials-and-resources/mentally-and-physically-handicapped-victims-of-the-nazi-era/euthanasia-killings;
7) Wannsee Conference and the “Final Solution,” http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005477
8) Killing Centers, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007327
9) Speech of the Reichsführer-SS (Heinrich Himmler) at the SS Group Leader Meeting in Posen (Poznan) 4- October-1943
10) Nuremberg Laws, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=1000790211)
11)  Examples of Anti-Semitic Legislation 1933-1939 http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007459

Second Written Assignment: Detailed instructions for each written assignment as well as the due-date and time will be distributed well in advance of the assignment.

Week Eight: Bosnia

Neuffer, Elizabeth. The Key to My Neighbor’s House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda,
Prologue, Chapter 1 Blood Ties to Blood Feuds,
Chapter 2 The Triumph of the Underworld.

Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Chapter 9.

Required Film: Welcome to Sarajevo. DVD. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. 1997. On Reserve in Buley Library and available for purchase on-line.

Week Nine: Bosnia

Neuffer, Elizabeth. The Key to My Neighbor’s House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda,
Chapter 3 Since Unhappily We Cannot Always Avoid Wars, Chapter 6 No Safe Havens, Chapter 9 Bring Me His Body.

Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Chapter 11.

Week Ten: Bosnia

A screening of Dr. Pettigrew’s documentary, The Geography of Genocide in Bosnia: Redeeming the Earth, DVD (USA 2011 50 min) will be arranged.
A Presentation of Dr. Pettigrew’s research concerning the work of the International Commission on Missing Persons in Bosnia.
Case Studies from the ICTY: http://www.icty.org/
Indictments of Karadžić and Mladić.
Web resource: http://home.southernct.edu/~pettigrewd1/Bosnia.html

Week Eleven: Bosnia

Third Written Assignment: Detailed instructions for each written assignment as well as the due-date and time will be distributed well in advance of the assignment.

Week Twelve: Rwanda

Philip Gourevitch. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda,
Chapters 3, 4, 7.

Hotel Rwanda. DVD. Directed by Terry George. 2004.

Week Thirteen: Rwanda

Philip Gourevitch. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda,
Chapters 8, 9 &10.

Case Studies from the ICTR :
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. http://www.unictr.org
Judgement and Sentence for ELIZAPHAN and GÉRARD NTAKIRUTIMANA:
Indictment for AUGUSTIN BIZIMUNGU
Summary Judgment against HASSAN NGEZE

Week Fourteen: Rwanda

Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York HarperPerennial Edition, 2007. Chapter 10.

Week Fifteen: Discussion and Synthesis

Fourth Written Assignment: Due:
JST 204 01W TBD

JST 204 02W TBD


Your Austerlitz assignment will be based on our semester-long discussions of W.G. Sebald's, Austerlitz, trans. Anthea Bell (New York: Modern Library, 2002).  

During our readings of the witness literature and our viewing of the films, we will be attentive to different modes of representing the Holocaust and the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda. Sebald's novel will provide us with another remarkable model - narrative fiction- for our consideration.

Many have suggested that there are challenges to writing about (or making films about) the Holocaust. They speak of the difficulty, even the impossibility of representing the "unrepresentable," or the unimaginable nature of the loss and the suffering. Sebald's main character actually evokes this challenge of representing the unrepresentable as he speaks often of the difficulty of remembering and writing about the past. At the same time, the main character provides remarkably detailed accounts of people, places, events and buildings, thus enacting a paradoxical relation between the impossibility of representing and the painful event of that very representation. We will address these and other questions raised by the book periodically throughout the semester.

In your paper you are to discuss Austerlitz's difficult search for his identity. Due to the Holocaust, Austerlitz has lost his identity and is in the process of trying to recover his past and reconstruct himself over the course of the novel. At first his efforts are unsuccessful and painful. Eventually, quite by accident, he seems on the way to discovering the truth about his own past as well as that of his family. While successful in one sense, the process continues to be psychically painful. Is it possible for him to succeed in discovering the past, or his is character precisely a narrative portrayal of the painful impossibility of such a quest?  We have identified an "arc of discovery" in the novel in a number of classes, with a description of the moments of discovery and psychological collapse as well as the page numbers in the case of each passage.


Nota Bene: You are required to discuss the role played in the novel by Austerlitz's "rucksack" (depicted on page 40). When we first meet Austerlitz, we learn that he is carrying a rucksack (p. 7). When they meet again in London, twenty years later, the narrator recognizes Austerlitz by his rucksack (p. 39). Initially, rucksack provides Austerlitz with an unconscious connection to his past. Later in the course of his discoveries he sees himself wearing the rucksack in his hallucinations and memories. His nanny Vera tells him that when he left for England on the kindertransport he had food for the journey in a rucksack (p.173). So the rucksack is both part of his impossible relation to his lost past, in sense that he clings to the rucksack for most of his life without any conscious knowledge of its true meaning, and it becomes part of the arc of discovery of his identity.

Your paper must be a minimum of four pages and a maximum of six pages, typed and double-spaced with conventional margins. Use a standard font and size such as Times, 12 point.

Final Exam:

JST 204 01W TBD
JST 204 02W TBD

Group presentations will be made during the final exam time.

In-class group presentations:
"Genocide Against the Tutsis in Rwanda"


Group presentations: Critical identification of causes, effects regarding the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda
. Students will make group presentations based on assigned chapters from Gourevitch (Chps. 4, 7, 9 and 10), Power (Chp. 10), as well as based on the film (Hotel Rwanda). Each group presentation will identify causes and effects of the genocide and reflect on strategies for prevention. Each group will read passages from the assigned chapters also raise questions for discussion with the class. Those presenting on the film will discuss specific scenes.
I. General Guidelines for Group Presentations:

* All members of the group must play an equally significant role in the presentation.

* Each group will have a total of twelve minutes for the presentation: approximately nine minutes for the presentation and three minutes for discussion with the members of the class.

II.  Requirements. Each Group Must:

* present the analytic framework regarding the identification of causes and effects of the genocide and indicate whether the group's Chapter addresses causes, effects, or both;

* read relevant passages from the assigned Chapters in Gourevitch or Power (or describe scenes and report dialogue from the Film) supporting your identification of causes or effects of the genocide;

* suggest strategies for genocide prevention, reflecting first, in the context of your assigned chapter, and second, in the broader context of our discussions this semester;

* engage in discussion with the class regarding the presentation

 


ADDITIONAL Important Information about our course:


*I. Written Assignments and Grades
Grades will be based on a series of written assignments (argumentative essays) (4-6 pages). Assignments will be assessed on the basis of a detailed outline. Students will work on assignments that help them acquire and process the content of the course. In this process of “writing to learn” students will also become habituated to developing written arguments that include introductions, transitions, and cogent reference to the required text in the process of completing the paper. Your professor may assign additional assignments if he deems such assignments necessary to support the pedagogical goals of the course. For example, scaffolding activities will be assigned or conducted in class, as part of which students will identify selected passages from the relevant texts to use in the assignments. Each essay will have an equal value in the calculation of the final grade.

Assignments must be completed by the announced due date. Any written assignment submitted past the stated deadline will receive a full grade deduction. The assignment is due at the beginning of class on the stated due date. Seven calendar days after the stated due date the assignment will no longer be accepted. Please note: I do not accept written assignments by email (text or attachment).


A further note about our written assignments. A W course encourages a process of ongoing writing activity and revisions.

First, you are strongly encouraged to bring a first draft of any of the assignments to my office hours for review. You are required to bring first drafts of at least one of the assignments to my office hours for review. We will discuss a strategy for improving the essay before the date of submission.

Second, the written assignments of the course are designed so that each successive written assignment will build upon the previous assignment. That is to say that each of our four-part argumentative essays will take a similar form, including an introduction, two sections addressing the content of the argument and a conclusion. In addition, each essay will include a topic sentence in the introduction and will include excerpts from the required readings.

Third, when your written assignment is returned to you with a grade and with my extensive comments, you will be strongly encouraged to revise the paper. You are required to revise at least one paper over the course of the semester. However, revising a paper for a better grade is not the only or the best reason for re-writing a paper. You need to make your best effort to accomplish the written assignment the first time that you write the assignment. If you are interested in revising a particular assignment in my class after you receive the grade there are several necessary steps. First, you need to discuss the paper with me during my office hours immediately after I return the paper to you. If we decide that a revision of the paper is appropriate then we will set specific educational objectives for your revision. Third, the paper would need to be re-written and re-submitted with one week on a date that we specify. Under no circumstances can you revise any paper or papers without going through the above process. Generally the grade on such rewritten or revised assignments will improve by half a letter grade (for example, a paper with a grade of C+ would generally improve to a B-). Again, students are encouraged to bring first drafts of any of the papers to me for my review during office hours.

You will receive the details and due dates for each written assignment well in advance of each written assignment.

***Please note: I do not accept written assignments by email (as text or as attachment).***


Plagiarism: In written assignments students must cite their sources: extracting direct quotes or making indirect reference to a source both require references with page numbers. Quotes and indirect references for the written assignments must come from the assigned readings and films. No quotes or references from the internet will be permitted for written assignments during the semester (except as required and specified by the Professor). Plagiarism is prohibited (see Student Handbook for discussion of "Prohibited Conduct"). Plagiarism will result in a grade of "F" for the paper and may result in grade of "F" for the course. If you have any questions about these requirements or restrictions do not hesitate to ask questions in class or during office hours.

II. Resources: Required readings, films, and websites.

Books to be purchased:
Gourevitch, Philip. We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. New York: Picador, 1998.
Levi, Primo. Survival at Auschwitz. New York: Touchstone, 1996.
Power, Samantha. “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide. New York: Harper, Perennial Edition, 2007.
Neuffer, Elizabeth. The Key to My Neighbor’s House: Seeking Justice in Bosnia and Rwanda. New York: Picador, 2001.
W.G. Sebald. Austerlitz. Trans. Anthea Bell. New York: Modern Library, 2002.

Required Readings: Selected pages will be photocopied and provided to you:
Fry, Varian. Surrender on Demand. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books, 1997.
Jones, Adam. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. New York: Routledge, 2010.
Kiernan, Ben. Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007.


You are always required to have the assigned readings ***with you in class***. We will undertake a close, detailed (line-by-line) reading and analysis of selected passages in class. This will be the work that is at the core of the educational experience of the class. Many of these passages that we will discuss and interpret will be essential in your written assignments. The books are available for your purchase in the bookstore or in some cases will be provided in photocopied form.

Selected Websites:
Ethical Responses to Genocide, A Course-dedicated website, http://home.southernct.edu/~pettigrewd1/index.html.
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. http://www.unictr.org.
United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. http://www.icty.org.
http://home.southernct.edu/~pettigrewd1/RaphaelLemkin.html
http://www.preventgenocide.org/lemkin/index.html
1) Kindertransport 1938-1940, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005260;
2) Theresienstadt, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005424;
3) Euthenasia killings, http://www.ushmm.org/learn/students/learning-materials-and-resources/mentally-and-physically-handicapped-victims-of-the-nazi-era/euthanasia-killings;
4) Entartete Kunst [Degenerate Art”], http://www.ushmm.org/online/film/display/detail.php?file_num=670;
5) Kristallnacht, A Nationwide Pogrom, November 9-10, 1938, http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005201;
6) Wannsee Conference and the “Final Solution,” http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005477

Films: On Reserve in Buley Library and available for purchase on-line.
Ararat. DVD. Directed by Atom Agoyan. Canada/France, 2002.
Hotel Rwanda. DVD. Directed by Terry George. UK/USA/South Africa, 2004.
Varian’s War. DVD. Directed by Lionel Chetwynd. UK/USA/Canada, 2001.
Welcome to Sarajevo. DVD. Directed by Michael Winterbottom. UK, 1997.

III. Policy on Punctuality and Attendance:
Attendance and Punctuality are Required. The learning culture of the class involves class dialogues that are indispensable to our engagement of the readings and the ideas they entail. One cannot miss the classes, for example, and then write a meaningful paper about the material. If you are involved in an activity that will make it difficult or inconvenient for you to attend the classes then you need to take a different class. Absences tardy arrivals and early departures will negatively affect your grade. I have developed a series of guidelines to encourage you to attend class. I state these attendance and punctuality guidelines here clearly for you. If you are more than 5 minutes late for any class, you will receive an L (Late). If you receive nine L's your grade will be reduced by a full letter grade. If you receive twelve L's your grade will be reduced by two full letter grades. If you arrive twenty minutes late for any class you will receive an Abs designation. If you are absent from class you will receive an "Abs" (Absent) designation. If you receive nine "Abs" your grade will be reduced by a full letter grade (for example from a B to a C). If you receive twelve "ABS" your grade will be reduced by two letter grades (for example from B to a D). If you receive fifteen ABS your grade will be reduced by three full letter grades (for example from a B to an F). If you leave class early (before the end of class) you will receive an "Abs" designation. If you leave class during class for more than 5 minutes you will be marked absent. If you leave you things in class and then leave class and return five minutes after the beginning of class you will be marked late. You can lose points for being late and for being absent. These reductions will be applied to the final grade you receive on the basis of your written assignments, presentation and research assignments. If you arrive 20 minutes late for a class you will be marked absent (ABS). As a consequence of this attendance policy there are no medical, sports related or other allowable reasons for missing classes and no need for any documentation in this regard. The attendance policy then, values and respects the sanctity of the classroom, on the one hand, and your privacy, on the other hand. Attendance is required.

A note on our final exam period: Since we do not have a final exam (we have a final paper), we are required to hold a class during the final exam time. Please be sure to plan to be present during the designated time for our final exam as we will undertake activities intrinsic to the integrity of our academic work. Absence from the final exam will be equivalent to three absences and you would fail the final group presentation project.

TBD


IV. Other policies

Policy on Email Correspondence Please be aware that I do not engage in email correspondence with students. All essential communications take place either in class or during office hours. Therefore there is no essential reason to use email. If you wish, you can email me to explain why you will not be in class or why you were not in class (see my attendance policy). If you have a question about the readings or the class discussions that you did not have the chance to ask in class you can send that question to me in an email and I will then address your question in a subsequent class or during office hours.

The use of cell phones is not permitted in the classroom. Please put your cell phones away before entering the class. (Zero tolerance).

The use of laptop computers is not permitted in the classroom. The learning culture of the class involves class dialogues that are indispensable to our engagement of the readings and the ideas they entail. Such an inquiry-based approach requires your constant attention. Any electronic devices or forms of behavior that would distract you or other students from our inquiries are unacceptable.

I believe in providing reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities on an individualized and flexible basis. If you are a student with a documented disability, the University's Disability Resource Center (DRC) determines appropriate accommodations through consultation with the student. Before you may receive accommodations in this class, you will need to make an appointment with the Disability Resource Center, located in EN C-105A. To speak with me about your approved accommodations or other concerns, such as medical emergencies or arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment as soon as possible. My office location and hours are listed at the top of the syllabus.

APPENDIX A : JST 204 W Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives Students will…

1. undertake careful, close textual reading of primary sources, Through the assigned reading of selected passages from primary texts (Primo Levi, Varian Fry, Samantha Power, Ben Kiernan and Adam Jones), and the discussion of the passages in class in order to assist students to gather the meaning of the passages, students will learn to read and interpret passages on their own.
2. develop critical thinking skills, skills of argumentation and skills of written expression. Students will learn to make appropriate and focused references to scholarly texts. Through class discussions about the reading materials and written assignments students will be encouraged to draw analogies between the instances of dehumanizing objectification that led to catastrophic violence during the Holocaust and genocides in the Ottoman Empire (Armenian genocide), Bosnia and Rwanda. Students will produce written assignments (analytical, argumentative essays) according to guidelines encouraging organization and focus, including required scholarly reference to the relevant text (learning both Chicago-style and MLA format). These assignments will argue the position according to the guidelines outlined in the assignment, thus habituating students to the practice of successfully writing critical argumentative essays. A similar structure will be outlined in successive assignments such that students can build upon their experience from assignment to assignment.
3. relate course material to real-life situations. Course readings and assignments will be drawn from real-life situations, including the Holocaust and genocides in the 20th century. Through the selected readings and assignments designed for the course students will be encouraged to draw analogies between the Holocaust and the genocides of the past century and to think of strategies for preventing future genocides.
4. become aware of and question unexamined assumptions and values. Through our course readings and discussions students will be encouraged to consider traditional assumptions such as “genocide happens because some people are evil,” or, “history repeats itself,” by considering the extent to which ethnic and religious animosities are socially constructed and exacerbated by political leaders.
5. recognize the similarities in the processes of different genocides (apparatus of genocide) through readings, class discussions, and in written assignments.
6. recognize the dehumanizing objectification (apparatus of genocide) that leads to genocide as being operative in a number of genocides through engagement in class discussions.
7. experience empathy for the suffering of the other, imagining a pre-normative bond between human beings.
8. undertake an interdisciplinary analysis of the causes of genocides (e.g., historical, geographical , political and cultural dimensions) through class discussions and written assignments.
9. propose a prevention plan for a given dehumanizing objectification or predictors of genocide in class discussions.
10. interpret course information in written assignments about genocides.
11. articulate their analyses and interpretations in written assignments.
12. draw analogies between the instances of dehumanizing objective violence that led to the Holocaust and to genocide in the Ottoman Empire, Bosnia and Rwanda, during class discussions and in written assignments.
13. draw analogies between the Holocaust and the genocides of the past century and to think of strategies for preventing future genocides.
14. reflect on the decisions made by “rescuers,” who resisted the Holocaust and Genocides in order to save lives, in their readings, class discussions and written assignments.
15. become critically aware of the variety of different kinds of sources such as books, witness literature, films and websites will model comprehensive research, critical evaluation of sources, and facilitate complex synthesis of sources in discussions and assignments.

Appendix B: Additional information about written assignments.

Students will work on assignments that help them acquire and process the content of the course. In this process of “writing to learn” the students will also become habituated to developing written arguments. Students will learn to be sure that their papers in include introductions, transitions, cogent reference to the required text in the process of completing the paper and a sequential argument.
Further, written assignments will reinforce Key Element #4 Learning Outcome for the LEP CT, namely, "Student will be able to write a well-reasoned and well-supported argumentative essay that draws upon reliable evidence.” The Rubric for the assessment of CT Key Element #4 (D. Synthesis) involves the following main points:

1. A central claim is clearly communicated.

2. The essay is well structured and clearly communicates the logical relations between paragraphs and sections. The reader is guided through a chain of reasoning or progression of ideas.

3. The essay develops a persuasive argument.

4. The essay uses examples or evidence to support each point. In the case of our assignments, the examples or evidence will come from the required films and readings, and occasionally, if specified, from a particular website.

5. The essay is free or spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.

6. The context for the discussion is developed appropriately and clearly articulated.

 

 

Our agreement concerning a shared commitment to classroom decorum and student success.

This agreement sets forth guidelines for our class that have been designed to support your academic achievement. The guidelines are provided for you because your Professor cares about your success in this class as well as in your other classes and other endeavors.  In addition, these expectations indicate our shared concern for the learning environment of the class, on the one hand, as well as your respect for your fellow students and for your Professor, on the other hand. In this context, we can insure that together we will foster an environment that is conducive to learning. Here are the guidelines:

1. No cell phones are allowed in the class. Please put them away before you enter the classroom and do not take them out during class.
2. No laptop computers are allowed in the classroom unless by prior arrangement with the Professor based on special conditions you may wish to explain.
3. Students are not permitted to sleep in class.
4. Students are not permitted to lie down on their desks during class, putting or resting their heads on their arms or directly on the desk.
5. Students are strongly discouraged from leaving class during the class. (If there is a medical reason or personal reason you need to leave class during class time please discuss this immediately with the Professor.)
6. Students are strongly discouraged from carrying on discussions with their neighbors during class (unless assigned as part of small group discussions).
7. Students are not permitted to work on assignments for other classes during our class.
8. Students must bring the assigned readings to class. We will undertake a close, detailed (line-by-line) reading and analysis of selected passages in class. This will be the work that is at the core of the educational experience of the class. Further, these passages that we will discuss and interpret will be essential in your written assignments.

In summary, the learning culture of our class involves class dialogues that are indispensable to our engagement of the readings and the ideas entailed therein. Our inquiry-based approach requires your constant attention and involvement. Any electronic devices or forms of behavior that would distract you or other students from our inquiries are unacceptable. These then are our guidelines and also my expectations. I look forward to participating with you in a mutually supportive and productive learning environment, an environment that will help you be successful within the context of the learning objectives of our course as well as your other courses.