• Class Number 4056
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Katherine Curchin
    • Dr Katherine Curchin
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

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.

Required Resources

There is no single textbook for this course. This course uses a range of books and articles which are available through the ANU library electronically or on 2 hour reserve.

Adam Jones. 2017. Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction. 3rd edition.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction. Defining genocide
2 Dehumanisation as a precursor to genocide
3 Perpetrators. The banality of evil
4 Case Study: the Rwandan Genocide
5 Genocide against Indigenous peoples
6 Gendering genocide
7 Denial
8 Genocide trials
9 Investigating genocide
10 Truth, reconciliation and justice
11 Apologies and reparation
12 Memorialisation

Tutorial Registration

Please register for tutorials using WATTLE.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Participation 10 % * * 1, 2, 4
Case Study Written Report 30 % 04/04/2022 18/04/2020 2, 3
Research Essay 50 % 01/06/2022 * 1, 2, 3
Group Presentation 10 % * * 1, 2, 3, 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 4


Criteria for the assessment of students' participation will be discussed with the group in week 1. Observations of students' level of participation in class will be recorded throughout the semester. Simply turning up does not equate to participation.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 04/04/2022
Return of Assessment: 18/04/2020
Learning Outcomes: 2, 3

Case Study Written Report

Task: Using an assigned case study and appropriate theory, critically analyse ONE of the following:

1. Preparation for genocide: Genocide occurs in many contexts, and often a deep history exists that enables one group to attempt to destroy another. In your case study report, provide the historical framework which enabled the particular genocide to occur.

2. Participation: Who were the genocidaires? What made them act the way they did?

3. Intervention: How did the international community respond to this genocide? Who brought pressure on the international community to act? Why did intervention occur or not occur? Why did intervention succeed or fail?

4. Justice: How has society dealt with the perpetrators? What attempts have been made to secure justice through the legal system? Have there been prosecutions, apologies or compensation? What barriers have impeded attempts to seek justice?

5. Denial: Many genocides are later denied by perpetrators or other actors with an interest in presenting either their version of the truth, or distorting the commonly accepted narrative. Why do people deny your case? What form does the denial take? How has society dealt with the deniers (political, legal, social, criminal consequences etc)? Who opposes the deniers?

Word limit: 1500 words (+/- 10%) not including reference list

Value: 30%

Presentation requirements: APA 7th

Further details about the assessment and the rubric are provided on the course website.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 01/06/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3

Research Essay

Task: In response to a question of your choice from the list of essay questions on the course website, write a research essay of 3,000 words.

Word limit: 3000 words (+/- 10%) not including reference list

Value: 50%

Presentation requirements: APA 7th

Further details about the assessment and the rubric are provided on the course website.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 3, 4

Group Presentation

Task: All students are required to give an oral presentation to their peers as part of the group presentation. In the tutorials for weeks 9-11, groups of four to five students will present their case study reports prepared for Assessment Task 1 as a combined overview of their assigned case. The presentation will cover a brief description of the case, followed by group members presenting key elements of the case: preparation for genocide; participants in genocide; any intervention (or lack thereof); justice and denial. A summary of lessons drawn from the case is required.  Each group must produce a single Powerpoint presentation and upload it to WATTLE.

50% of the mark for this assessment task (i.e. 5% of overall course grade) will be awarded on the basis of the effectiveness of each student's presentation style and 50% will be awarded for the coherence of the group's presentation as a whole. Where a group member does not contribute to the presentation, a zero mark will be awarded to that individual.

Further details about the assessment and the rubric are provided on the course website.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.

Hardcopy Submission

Not applicable.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Not applicable.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Katherine Curchin

Research Interests

Dr Katherine Curchin

By Appointment
By Appointment
Dr Katherine Curchin

Research Interests

Dr Katherine Curchin

By Appointment
By Appointment

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