ATS2057 - Genocide - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Noah Shenker


Dr Noah Shenker

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Twelve credit points of first-year Arts units.


This unit examines the phenomenon of genocide and mass killing in history. The twentieth century has been called 'the century of genocide' but genocidal violence has continued unabated into the new millennium. This unit will ask why genocide takes place and how people come to participate in mass violence. It will focus on case studies of genocide including Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and the elimination of indigenous populations in the Americas and Australia. The unit will study how the field of genocide studies came to be constituted beginning with the writings of Raphael Lemkin in the aftermath of the Holocaust. Students will research the causes of genocide and reflect on models of genocide prevention.


  1. To understand the origins of the concept of genocide and the social, analytical and ethical issues concerning its usage.
  2. To be familiar with the writings of Raphael Lemkin and other contemporary theoreticians of genocide
  3. To understand how the field of genocide studies came to be constituted as an academic discipline
  4. To be familiar with the historical details of specific cases of genocide from the nineteenth century to the present
  5. To engage with debates about the uniqueness of the Holocaust and its relationship with the concept of genocide
  6. To be familiar with the kinds of archives that enable researchers to study the phenomenon of genocide
  7. To appreciate the development of the international discourse around human rights and genocide prevention
  8. To understand how oral history and testimony can aid our understanding of genocide


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study