Differing definitions and interpretations of genocide and crimes against humanity

Genocide and Crimes against Humanity: 2018-19: Critical Bibliography Assessment BriefAssessment: Critical BibliographyLength: 1,500 WordsSubmission Via: CANVASWorth: 40% of modules overall gradeWhat Does the Module Guide Say?‘A critical bibliography which will involve a review of no more than 1500 words of 2-3 significant books in the field which offer different explanations of how and why genocide and crimes against humanity have been committed since the Holocaust’ (p.5)How Will You be Assessed?Critical Bibliography Marking Criteria:• Structure: this refers to the overall logical order of the discussion, which should include a short introduction, an outline of the arguments put forward by each author(s), a critical evaluation of the arguments, and a conclusion summing up the findings.• Understanding and clarity: this criterion focuses on grasp of the arguments presented in the sources examined (the perspective within which they are situated, the main claims made, and the evidence provided by authors in support of their claim) and the clarity of conveying this message.• Critical analysis: this deals with your ability to critically evaluate the arguments presented in the sources examined, drawing on additional bibliographical material in your evaluation.• General written expression and academic standards: this criterion deals with the quality of your writing (grammar, clarity, etc.) and with the standard of referencing and of the bibliography.But What Does This Mean?The critical bibliography is designed to help you develop your understanding of different approaches to and understandings of genocide and crimes against humanity by writing a critical review of 2-3 books in the field written from contrasting perspectives. The understanding you develop while writing your critical bibliography should stand you in good stead when you come to write your essay in the spring, where you will be applying the theories covered in TB1 to the case studies examined in TB2.You may find it helpful to focus your critical review on one of the following themes which we are covering during the lectures in TB1:• Differing definitions and interpretations of genocide and crimes against humanity• The political use and abuse of the concept of genocide• The functionalism v intentionalism debate• The question of morality – perpetrators, victims, bystanders, and rescuers• Prosecuting genocide and crimes against humanity• Prevention• ReconciliationSo, What Should My Critical Bibliography Contain?In many respects, this exercise is like a short essay, only focused more directly on specific reading. A good answer will be clear, coherent, and fluent, and have a good sense of purpose. It will demonstrate:• a sound and perceptive grasp of the arguments advanced by each writer• a good understanding of the terms and concepts deployed by the writers you are discussing• careful and critical consideration of the evidence they have provided to substantiate their argument• a cogent analysis of the logic of the argument put forward by each writer• a good appreciation of the broader historical context of the topic under discussion and of the historiographic controversy with which the authors are engaged• A good style and presentation of material.No major points should be either omitted or covered inaccurately.In terms of layout, you should begin with an introduction, explaining firstly why you have chosen these authors and the main issues you are going to explore. You may then analyse each work separately or work your way through the key issues you have identified. Whichever route you choose, ensure that your discussions of the books speak to each other (rather than appearing as separate book reviews that just happen to be placed next to each other). As always, draw together your work in a conclusion that highlights the most important insights of your work.In a review of this length (you have a maximum of 1500 words), it is important to be both concise and focused sharply on the key arguments.So, Do I Really Have to Look at Books?Yes. Though journal articles are clearly important to academia, books afford space for authors to draw out arguments in a much more detailed manner than journal articles. Similarly, avoid edited volumes as chapters within them are of similar length to journal articles.So, What Books Should I Review?There is obviously a large and growing literature on genocide and crimes against humanity. That said, it is possible to identify some key text that are central to the field. You will many of these texts in your required readings and the broader electronic reading lists. Some of these key texts are also identified below.Jones, A. (2010) Genocide (2nd ed.) London: Routledge.Mann, M. (2005). The Dark Side of Democracy: Explaining Ethnic Cleansing. New York: Cambridge University Press.Moses, D. (2010) Empire, Colony, Genocide: Conquest, Occupation, and Subaltern Resistance in World History. New York: Berghahn.Power, S. (2003) A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. London: Flamingo.Semalin, J. (2014) Purify and Destroy: The Political Uses of Massacre and Genocide. London: Hurst.Shaw, M. (2003) War and Genocide: Organized Killing in Modern Society. Cambridge: Polity.Shaw, M. (2013) What is Genocide (1st ed.) Hoboken: Wiley.Spencer, P. (2012) Genocide since 1945. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.Valentino, B. (2004) Final solutions: Mass Killing and Genocide in the Twentieth Century. London: Cornell University Press.Weitz, Eric. (2003) A Century of Genocide: Utopias of Race and Nation. Princeton University Press.

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