• Offered by ANU Centre for Social Research Methods
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Political Science
  • Areas of interest History, Political Sciences, Sociology, Criminology, Human Rights
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Katherine Curchin
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2020
    See Future Offerings

The course focuses on the historical, political, cultural, economic and social contexts of genocide and mass killings with a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries. The local, national and international causes and impacts of genocide will be examined, as well as the different forms that genocide takes. The Jewish Holocaust and its seminal place in history and genocide studies will be investigated, as well as more recent case studies. The ideological bases for such killings, questions of responsibility and punishment, and the structures and processes that have developed in response to genocide will be addressed through the case studies. The course will also explore debates about the definition of genocide and the political, legal and moral implications of different approaches to definition. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. analyse the social, political, cultural, historical, legal, and economic contexts of genocide and the local, national, international impact of genocide;
  2. apply theories and definitions of genocide to case studies;
  3. communicate their understanding of the course content; and
  4. reflect on their learning as it relates to the content of the course in the context of a community of practice.

Other Information

Content Warning

This course examines some of the most atrocious human behaviour recorded and contains content which may be shocking or distressing for some students. The curriculum includes discussion, images and accounts of warfare, atrocities, hate crimes and violence, death and severe injury, sexual violence, physical and emotional abuse, child abuse, self-harm and suicide, mental illness, misogyny, racism, xenophobia and classism. If you have questions about the content of the course and concerns about its nature please contact the convener for a face to face meeting. If you find yourself distressed by the course you should also contact the convener, or other ANU support services [link to http://www.anu.edu.au/students/health-safety-wellbeing/counselling].

It is an inherent requirement of this course that students be emotionally capable of dealing with these topics.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Case study report (1500 words) (30) [LO 2,3]
  2. Research essay (3000 words) (45) [LO 1,2,3]
  3. Group presentation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
  4. Lectorial and seminar participation (15) [LO 4]
  5. Lectorial and Seminar participation This course combines the acquisition of knowledge and skills with personal and ethical development. It asks students to reflect on experiences on grief, loss and profound trauma in the context of historical events. The content of the course is unusually confronting and challenging. In order to provide a supportive environment in which students can safely engage with the curriculum, the course adopts a pedagogical approach based on the model of a community of practice. In this model, learning is a collective process based on regular interaction between learners. Therefore participation is a required component of assessment. Students must participate in at least 75% of lectorials and seminars. Non-participation requires a medical certificates. (null) [LO null]

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:

a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectorials and 12 hours of seminars; and

b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 6 units of 1000 level SOCY, CRIM or POLS and 6 units of 2000/3000 level SOCY, CRIM or POLS courses; or permission of the convenor

Prescribed Texts





Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5460
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4118 24 Feb 2020 02 Mar 2020 08 May 2020 05 Jun 2020 In Person View

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