Mass Violence and Population Transfers in the 20th and 21st centuries

Students are initially introduced into the concepts of conflict, violence, war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. The students are then required to study an array of mass violence phenomena, starting from the Armenian Genocide and moving into other atrocities of the 20th c., such as the Ukrainian Holodomor or the Al Naqba and the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Holocaust, and the pogroms against the Greeks of Istanbul. The course also takes into consideration the most recent atrocities during the events following the “Arab Spring”, against Christian and Yazidi populations in the Middle East. The course focuses on common patterns of these tragic events and on the methodology of their historical documentation, touching upon the impact on current political affairs in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea region: How are deep, divisive conflicts remembered after they have ended? What is their influence on current politics? How can reconciliation emerge and under what conditions? What is the role of external forces in the violent past of this region and what are the responsibilities of local elites in preserving such rivalries?

Learning outcomes:

Upon completing the course, the students will have gained:

  • knowledge of the basic theoretical and analytical concepts of the study of violence and conflict
  • familiarity with the geographic, demographic, and historical consequences of the genocidal conflicts and ethnic cleansing of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. area during the modern period and
  • ability to use this knowledge to explain the status of these regions.