Book Event: "Genocide: A World History" with Norman M. Naimark

Thursday, February 16, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
  • Beth Van Schaack



Genocide occurs in every time period and on every continent. Using the 1948 U.N. definition of genocide as its departure point, this book examines the main episodes in the history of genocide from the beginning of human history to the present. Norman M. Naimark lucidly shows that genocide both changes over time, depending on the character of major historical periods, and remains the same in many of its murderous dynamics. He examines cases of genocide as distinct episodes of mass violence, but also in historical connection with earlier episodes.

Unlike much of the literature in genocide studies, Naimark argues that genocide can also involve the elimination of targeted social and political groups, providing an insightful analysis of communist and anti-communist genocide. He pays special attention to settler (sometimes colonial) genocide as a subject of major concern, illuminating how deeply the elimination of indigenous peoples, especially in Africa, South America, and North America, influenced recent historical developments. At the same time, the "classic" cases of genocide in the twentieth Century - the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Bosnia -- are discussed, together with recent episodes in Darfur and Congo.


Norman M. Naimark image
Norman Naimark is the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies, professor of history, core faculty member of FSI's Europe Center, FSI senior fellow by courtesy and senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford. He is an expert on modern East European, Balkan, and Russian history and has authored several books, including Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing In 20th Century Europe (Harvard, 2001), and Stalin's Genocides (Princeton, 2010).

Picture of Dirk Rupnow

Dirk Rupnow is the Stanford 2016-2017 Distinguished Visiting Austrian Chair Professor.  He is a Professor of Contemporary History, Head of the Institute for Contemporary History, and Founding Coordinator of the Center for Migration and Globalization at the University of Innsbruck.  His interests include 20th century European history, Holocaust and Jewish studies, cultures and politics of memory, and intellectual and migration history, and his current research focuses on developing an inclusive narrative of post-war Austrian history, one that reflects the current plurality and diversity of Austrian society.   Professor Rupnow will be teaching the course "The Holocaust and its Aftermath" for the Department of History in the Spring Quarter.
Picture of Beth Van Schaak


Beth Van Schaack is the Leah Kaplan Visiting Professor in Human Rights at Stanford Law School—where she teaches in the areas of international human rights, international criminal law, and atrocities prevention—and a Faculty Fellow with the Handa Center for Human Rights & International Justice at Stanford University. Prior to returning to academia, she served as Deputy to the Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues in the Office of Global Criminal Justice of the U.S. Department of State. In that capacity, she helped to advise the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights on the formulation of U.S. policy regarding the prevention of and accountability for mass atrocities, such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.