Saturday, November 6, 2010

Resisting the Path to Genocide

Resisting the Path to Genocide: The Case of States and Societies
International workshop at the University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA, May 5-7, 2011

The newly established interdisciplinary research cluster “Resisting the Path to Genocide” at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, addresses the fundamental question of what enables people to oppose or resist racist ideologies, state discrimination practices, or the active participation in mass atrocities in three steps, focusing consecutively on societies, groups, and individuals (for more details, visit

For the first of three international workshops, which will take place at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles May 5-7, 2011, we now seek applications from scholars of any discipline for papers about the question, what prevents states and societies from pursuing genocidal policies and practices?

We appreciate case studies (ranging from colonial genocides of the 19th century to contemporary examples) as well as comparative work on genocidal states and societies, but also on countries which did not turn genocidal, such as South Africa.

What kind of conditions may prevent societies from tipping into murderous actions? Are institutions or organizations (inside and outside of a country) identifiable which resist genocidal tendencies? We also encourage counterfactual research, e.g. about alternatives which existed but were not chosen in genocidal states as Nazi Germany, Guatemala and others. Since the aim of the cluster is to enhance our understanding how to resist genocidal processes, we also seek contributions which will discuss opposition and resistance in a theoretical way.

The University of Southern California provides unique research resources: the Shoah Foundation Institute Archive with more than 52,000 interviews on the Holocaust as well as on other genocides, The Lion Feuchtwanger collection and a new Holocaust studies collection.

Please send a CV and a one-page abstract of the proposed paper before
November 30th, 2010 to

Wolf Gruner
Shapell-Guerin Chair in Jewish Studies
Professor of History
Department of History
SOS Room 262
3520 Trousdale Pkwy
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0034

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