News

trc02On December 15th, the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission issued its final report. It documents the treatment of indigenous children in Canadian residential schools over the course of more than twelve decades. More 150,000 youth were sent to the schools. The report estimates that more than 3,200 never came home. In June, Beverly McLachlin, chair of the TRC commission, labelled the residential schools cultural genocide.

To many, the report and its finding are an astounding admission to the culpable role the Canadian government played in the destruction of several generations of indigenous culture. The release of the report raises an interesting question: can this be a positive sign of Canada coming to grips with its troubling past?

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A few things have been happening in Burundi this year. The president, Pierre Nkuruzinza circumvented the constitution and ran for a third term. The result of this has been on-going conflict from April. Burundi was not a surprise though. Journalists I spoke to earlier this year all stated that regional coverage of Burundi had pointed to something being afoot as early as last year. None-the-less, here we are, with yet another unfolding atrocity, several deaths, an ever growing numbers of displaced and plenty of hand-wringing by the international community.

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unnamedThe Twitter account @HistOpinion recently reminded us of the prevailing opinion on raising the immigrant quota for refugees who were fleeing Nazi Germany. Two-thirds of the respondents polled by Gallup’s American Institute of Public Opinion in July 1938 agreed with the proposition that “with conditions as they are we should try to keep them out.”

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Recently I laid over at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, at which the Delta Airlines security agent checked my U.S. passport prior to boarding the plane to Minneapolis. Upon seeing my name and place of birth (Bosnia and Herzegovina), he asked in Serbian if I spoke “our language.” I responded with a “yes, of course,” and he completed the rest of the security procedure in ‘our language,’ revealing that he is a Serb who escaped to the Netherlands in 1991 because he did not want to have to fight the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) or the Croats, as they are all “my people, our people.” more...

Wahutu Siguru sat down with Dr. Joachim Salvesberg from the University’s Sociology Department to discuss his new book, Representing Mass Violence: Conflicting Responses to Human Rights Violations in Darfur for the September edition of “Eye on Africa.” 

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9f7eda0b-6d1f-45eb-a042-092293fcc167On the 2nd of April my home country, Kenya, suffered its bloodiest terrorist attack in recent history. The attack by Al-Shabaab was at a university in the town of Garissa, close to the Kenya-Somali border. While it would be tempting to rant and rave about the causes of the attack, the lapse in Kenya’s security forces, or even the almost non-existence of an official government response — not only to the attack but the victims’ and their families’ plight and suffering — I will not. Instead this month’s article is on the 147 students that died, the almost equal number of students considered missing, and the hundreds more that survived and will always have these scars.

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My name is Joshkin Sezer. I am a history major who is starting his third year at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. In the Spring Semester of 2015, I enrolled in History of the Holocaust, instructed by Adam Blackler. Near the end of the semester, we got the chance to hear a talk from a Holocaust survivor, Irene Berman. She had just published a book detailing her experience as a child in Norway during the Holocaust and how her family managed to survive.

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In July, I had the privilege of presenting at the International Association of Genocide Scholars‘ twelfth meeting in Yerevan, Armenia. The conference’s theme of comparative analysis of twentieth century genocides brought experts from around the world to Armenia’s capital city for five days of presentations, learning, and networking. More than 180 attendees, representing more than two dozen countries, shared their research and insight into many of the twentieth century’s most infamous atrocities. more...

On April 23-25 the Center for Holocaust and Genocide studies, along with the Human Rights Program, Institute for Global Studies and the Ohanessian Chair, marked the centennial of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 with a series of events. This included a keynote by Middle East scholar Bedross Der Matossian, an international student conference titled “One Hundred Years of Genocide: Remembrance, Education, Prevention”, a teacher workshop on World War I and the Armenian Genocide, as well as a guided tour of Bdote, a sacred Dakota site at Ft. Snelling State Park led by Professor Iyekiyapiwin Darlene St. Clair.

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The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Department of History are pleased to announce the 2015-2016 Bernard and Fern Badzin Fellow in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

c8e9469d-ec05-47ef-a3c4-e213f785d467Yagmur Karakaya is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. She is interested in collective memory, popular culture and narratives of history. Yagmur is currently working on her dissertation project on Ottomania, which focuses on contemporary interest in the Ottoman past in Turkey. She is interested in how different groups of minorities engage with the ways in which Ottoman past is recalled and how they situate themselves in this narrative. During her Badzin Graduate Fellowship year, she will focus on the commemoration of the Holocaust in Turkey, and the relative silence on the Armenian genocide situating both of these phenomena in the current political interest in the Ottoman past. This project will engage with current debates regarding memorialization and denial in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies within the context of Turkey. She will be focusing on two major non-Muslim minorities in Turkey: the Jewish and Armenian population, conducting interviews with the members.