Representing Genocide: Media, Law and Scholarship
April 5 & 6, 2013
Mondale Hall -The Law School
Friday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Room 20
Saturday, April 6, 9:00 a.m. -3:30 p.m. Room 50
Free and open to the public. Registration closed. Walk ins welcome, space is limited. Registration on Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30.
The symposium will address journalistic, judicial and social scientific depictions of atrocities with a focus on cases of the Holocaust, Darfur, and Rwanda. It seeks to explore the intersections between these different discursive fields and case studies to shed light on the increasing tension between the local and global representations and memories of mass murder.
The particular ways in which current genocides are represented have critical consequences for the responses and interventions offered by the rest of the world. This has been evident in both Darfur and Rwanda, where the framing of the events and the labels and definitions used by the media and scholarship to describe them (such as "tribal violence") had a detachment effect and did not favor any sort of intervention to halt the atrocities. Reversely, references to the Holocaust in the representation of contemporary mass atrocities--so-called "metaphorical bridging"--can also crucially impact the process of intervention, as the case of Bosnia has demonstrated.
Few attempts have been made to specifically highlight the connection between representations of past mass atrocities and their actual impact on unfolding events of mass violence. An examination of this urgent question is an essential component of global progress towards human rights goals and the prevention or reduction of future political violence. Moreover, while there is an important body of work on Holocaust memory as such, the symposium will explore when and how promoting public awareness and memory of mass atrocities through distinct institutions (the media, the judiciary and academic scholarship) can lead to effective anti-genocide policies.
Alejandro Baer, Director and Stephen C. Feinstein Chair Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, University of Minnesota
Joachim Savelsberg, Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota
Fredrico Finchelstein, Associate Professor of History at the New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College
John Hagan, John D. MacArthur Professor, Northwestern University
Jens Meierhenrich, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE/ Princeton University
Bella Mody, James de Castro Chair in Global Media Studies, Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Colorado
Mark Osiel, Aliber Family Chair in Law, University of Iowa
Devin Pendas, Associate Professor History, Boston College
Natan Sznaider, Professor of Sociology, Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo
Allan Thompson, Assistant Professor Journalism and Communication, Carleton University
The Symposium is made possible by the Wexler Special Events fund for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Sponsored by: Center for Austrian Studies, Center for German and European Studies, European Studies Consortium, the Human Rights Program, Institute for Global Studies, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law, Human Rights Center at the Law School, Department of Sociology, Department of German Scandinavian & Dutch, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Center for Jewish Studies, Department of History.