Norman Naimark: Genocide: A World History

by myFletcher

Lecture/Speaker Eurasia Lecture

Thu, Nov 4, 2021

3 PM – 4:15 PM EDT (GMT-4)

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Please join the Initiative on Religion, Law, and Diplomacy at The Fletcher School, the Department of History, and the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University for a conversation with Professor Norman Naimark of Stanford University. He will speak about his book Genocide: A World History (2016). Please make sure to register via myFletcher to participate in the event in person. The event is reserved for members of the Tufts community.

Genocide occurs in every time period and on every continent. Using the 1948 U.N. definition of genocide as its departure point, this book examines the main episodes in the history of genocide from the beginning of human history to the present. Norman Naimark lucidly shows that genocide both changes over time, depending on the character of major historical periods, and remains the same in many of its murderous dynamics. He examines cases of genocide as distinct episodes of mass violence, but also in historical connection with earlier episodes.

Unlike much of the literature in genocide studies, Naimark argues that genocide can also involve the elimination of targeted social and political groups, providing an insightful analysis of communist and anti-communist genocide. He pays special attention to settler (sometimes colonial) genocide as a subject of major concern, illuminating how deeply the elimination of indigenous peoples, especially in Africa, South America, and North America, influenced recent historical developments. At the same time, the "classic" cases of genocide in the twentieth Century - the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Bosnia - are discussed, together with recent episodes in Darfur and Congo.

Norman Naimark is the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies, a Professor of History and (by courtesy) of German Studies, and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution and (by courtesy) of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies. He formerly served as the Sakurako and William Fisher Family Director of the Stanford Global Studies Division, the Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program, the Convener of the European Forum (predecessor to The Europe Center), Chair of the History Department, and the Director of Stanford’s Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. Naimark earned his Ph.D. in History from Stanford University in 1972 and before returning to join the faculty in 1988, he was a professor of history at Boston University and a fellow of the Russian Research Center at Harvard. He also held the visiting Catherine Wasserman Davis Chair of Slavic Studies at Wellesley College. He has been awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (1996), the Richard W. Lyman Award for outstanding faculty volunteer service (1995), and the Dean’s Teaching Award from Stanford University for 1991-1992 and 2002-2003. He is interested in modern Eastern European and Russian history, and his research focuses on Soviet policies and actions in Europe after World War II and on genocide and ethnic cleansing in the twentieth century.