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Evening Course: Genocide After the Holocaust

With Dr Philip Spencer

The Wiener Library is delighted to offer another opportunity for learners of all ages and backgrounds to enrol in a second course of study led by Emeritus Professor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kingston University, Philip Spencer. The course will last ten weeks and will run every Tuesday from 8 November 2016 to 17 January 2017, with a break for holidays on 27 December. It will be hosted at the Library from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. The full price of the course is £175, just £17.50 per session.

The main aim of this course is to look at the phenomenon of genocide in the modern world. It has been argued that the Holocaust was a critical turning point, a catastrophe which required a fundamental rethinking of how the rights of human beings could be protected when states try to murder large numbers of people, including many of their own citizens, what we now call genocide. The course will begin with reflections on the Nazi attempt to annihilate the Jews and some of the immediate responses to the Holocaust, particularly the Genocide Convention which was passed by the newly formed United Nations in December 1948. The Convention was designed to commit the international community to halt and prevent the recurrence of this crime but there have nevertheless been several cases since 1948, across decades and continents. We will look first at some of the key crucial issues that arise when we think about what is involved in genocide and why it is (as the Tribunal on the Rwanda genocide put it) “the crime of crimes”. We then examine a number of cases of genocide that have taken place since the Holocaust, and consider why almost nothing has been done to halt or prevent the crime, despite the promise of the Convention. Among the cases we will look at are the genocides in Cambodia, Guatemala, Iraq, Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Darfur. The course will conclude with some reflections on how justice might be provided in the aftermath of genocide.

Each week, there will be some basic directed reading. There will also be a longer list of readings each week. All of this you can access in the Library. The first hour each week will be a lecture, which will then be followed by a seminar discussion of a key question.

For further information and to enrol, please contact nlavee@wienerlibrary.co.uk.

Professor Philip Spencer

Philip Spencer is Emeritus Professor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Kingston University and Visiting Professor in Politics at Birkbeck College, London University. He was the founder and director of the Helen Bamber Centre for the Study of Rights, Conflict and Mass Violence at Kingston University. He is the author of several books, including: Genocide Since 1945 (Routledge, 2012); of Nationalism: A Critical Introduction (Sage, 2002), Nations and Nationalism (Edinburgh University Press, 2006) (both with Howard Wollman); and of Antisemitism and the Left: The Return of the Jewish Question (with Robert Fine) to be published by Manchester University Press later this year. He is a Trustee of the Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide and a Research Associate of the Pears Institute for the Study of Antisemitism. He is a member of the European Sociological Association Research Network for the Study of Racism and Antisemitism; and a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars.


Dr Philip Spencer | talks


Date and Time:

8 November 2016 at 6:30 pm


2 hours



The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide
29 Russell Square
020 7636 7247

More at The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide...



£175 for the course; £17.50 per session

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