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HGS 531/731 - Genocide and the United States

This course studies the history and politics of contentious movements to recognize genocides committed in and by the United States during three distinct periods: the Cold War years from 1945 to 1989; the humanitarian intervention years from the 1990s to the 2010s; and, thirdly, the age of Trump, which saw an attempt to dismantle the atrocity prevention and peacebuilding foreign policy apparatus, but also witnessed the first wide-spread recognition across US society that genocide has been committed in-and by-the United States. In each of these periods, we will examine the conflicts that have arisen between social movements that lobby for greater US government involvement in preventing and prosecuting genocide internationally, and social movements that demand recognition and restitution for genocides committed against Black Americans and Native Americans. We will also examine efforts to recognize genocides that the US government has committed or supported overseas.