University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies

The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) promotes academic research, education and public awareness on the Shoah, other genocides and current forms of mass violence. Your generous support is key to maintaining the important work of the Center, advancing the hightest quality of scholarship, programs, and educational resources.

Student Opportunities

CHGS guides and mentors undergraduate and graduate students by organizing courses and workshops, offering grants and fellowships and providing unique opportunities for interaction with leading experts in the field. To find out more clickhere.

Professional and Educational Resources

CHGS supports educators through interactive workshops and institutes, facilitated by leading experts of Holocaust and genocide education. CHGS's website offers a myriad of resources for teaching age appropriate lessons about the Holocaust and genocide. To learn more click here.

Center News

  • Summer Educator Workshop, June 20-23, 2016 -- Teaching about Genocide in Africa: Rwanda and Darfur

    June 20-23, 2016
    African Studies Initiative (ASI) Summer Educator Workshop
    "Teaching about Genocide in Africa: Rwanda and Darfur"
    sponsored by the Title VI grant

    CHGS was pleased to attend and help support this week-long seminar, sponsored by the African Studies Initiative Title VI grant. This institute was co-led by Wahutu Siguru, PhD Candidate in Sociology and former CHGS Badzin Fellow, and Nancy Ziemer, high school teacher, and developed out of last summer's "Holocaust in a Global Context" institute and the subsequent curriculum development project, which Ziemer helped lead. Taking this curriculum as a foundation, the institute took a comparative approach to the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur. 

    Participants gained content knowledge about the origin and legal ramifications of the term "genocide," and how various groups, such as the United Nations and the media, have addressed the two genocides. Each session included engaging activities that can be used in secondary and post-secondary classrooms. By the end of the seminar, participants gained a collection of materials for their classrooms, including resources, teaching methods, and teaching units.

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  • Recent CHGS exhibition at Wilson Library

    Displaced: The Semiotics of Identity 
    Special exhibit on display from April 27 through May 13, 2016

    "Syriana," Melissa Boric
    Untitled, from "Silence is Golden," Bette Mittelman
    "Herbert Fantle," Felix de la Concha
    Displaced: The Semiotics of Identity is an on-site installation and digital exhibition that invites contemplation on issues of displacement, survival, and identity. Displacement is a deeply personal experience, and yet one that is implicitly collective.

    The curators are students from the semester-long Department of Art workshop "Be the Curator: Curatorial Theory and Practice." Local art educators, curators, and artists helped guide the process of making a relevant and meaningful exhibition, which involved intensive group exploration of the value of artistic expression, how to establish a scope of artworks and objects that is inclusive and exclusive, and design an exhibition that is educational and engaging. 

    Co-sponsored by the University Libraries, the Center for Holocaust And Genocide Studies, and the Department of Art.
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  • Performance of the Musical Drama Broucci (Fireflies), based on the Czech folktale performed at the Terezin / WWII Jewish camp-ghetto of Theresienstadt

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  • Holocaust Memorial Day event at CHGS in conjunction with HGMV

    Thursday, May 5, 4:00 PM
    710 Social Sciences Building
    *Holocaust Memorial Day*
    SIDI N'DIAYE, Research Fellow, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
    The Role of Historical Hate Representations in the Murder of Neighbors in Rwanda (1994) and Poland (World War II)

    An examination of the place of historical and hatred representations in the murders of Jewish neighbors during the Second World War in Poland and of Tutsi neighbors, during the 1994 genocide. Through the analysis of these proximity massacres, two forms of extreme violence will be discussed in comparing the pitches and the conscious and unconscious psychological and theoretical justifications. 

    Dr. Sidi N’Diaye is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institut des Sciences sociales du Politique (ISP) at the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (France.) He received his PhD in Political Science from the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense in 2012. A native speaker of Soninke, Dr. Sidi N’Diaye possess language skills in French, English, Arabic, Wolof, and Pulaar. While in residence at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, Dr. N’Diaye will work on his project, “Historical and Mental Representations in the Proximity of Massacres: A Comparative Approach of the Genocide of Tutsis from Rwanda and Jews from Poland through Murders of Neighbors.”

    Dr. N’Diaye has published two books: The Violent Past and the Policy of Repentance in Mauritania, 1989-2012 (LGDJ, 2013), and Dissonances, Melodies and Social Policies in Mauritania: Random Discussions and Free Fragments, co-authored with Abdarahmane Ngaidé (L'Harmattan, 2014). He expects to finish his next monograph project by the end of May 2016.

    Organized by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, cosponsored by the African Studies Initiative and the Human Rights Program, held in conjunction with the Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Violence (HGMV) interdisciplinary graduate student group.
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  • HGMV Student Funding Opportunities

    We are pleased to offer HGMV graduate students funding support for travel to present their research at academic conferences, which includes an exciting new partnership with the UMN Libraries: 

    CHGS / HRP travel awards funded by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Human Rights Program
      Library Archives travel awards: the Kautz Family YMCA Archives HGMV Graduate Award, and the IHRC Archives HGMV Graduate Award
        Funding for both types of awards will be provided to graduate students in the form of reimbursement for travel costs and registration fees for conferences, symposia, workshops, and meetings where they will present their work.

        Topics must be relevant to the Holocaust, genocide, mass violence and other systemic human rights violations. Applications accepted on a rolling basis, first consideration will be given to those students who have presented or are scheduled to present their work in the HGMV workshop.  

        Library awards require prior consultation with an archivist, and incorporation of archive research in the paper.  Archivists are always available for consult via and

          - Brief cover letter (directed to CHGS / HRP)
          - Date and title of conference / symposium / workshop / meeting
          - Title of presentation and abstract presentation (500 words)
          - Funds required (up to $500 US )
          - Date and title of HGMV Workshop presentation
          - Date of consultation with archivist and collection(s) utilized (for Library Archives award)
          - Other funding secured or being sought for travel, through UMN or elsewhere
          - Appropriately and accurately cite Archives collections in future presentations / papers (for Library Archives award)

          Email materials to and
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        • April 21 Holocaust, Genocide, and Mass Violence (HGMV) research group meeting

          Thursday, April 21, 4:00 PM 710 Social Sciences
          MARÍA JOSÉ MÉNDEZ GUTIÉRREZ, Department of Political Science
          “The soundtrack of war: ‘Narcocorridos’ and drug war violence in Latin America”


          Due to the widespread impact of the drug wars in Mexico and Central America, the violence that afflicts the region increasingly marks cultural products. Narcocorrido music lives and sings the complexities and contradictions of violence in Mesoamerica. In some ways, drug trafficking has become the political unconscious that increasingly defines Latin American art production. Adopting a storytelling folk song style, which once chronicled stories about revolutionary figures and soldiers who fought against the U.S. invasion of Mexico, narcocorridos tell stories of the drug war since the 1970s.
          As a musical newspaper that adds social texture to the drug trade and its violence, it reverberates as an important counter-narrative of the drug war. The colorful stories sung by narcocorridos specially stand out against the backdrop of a declining investigative journalism in countries like Mexico, where the menace of death has led many journalists to become accountants: “reporting the numbers of dead people, counting the bodies, without delivering the story behind the casualties (2).” While accused of glamorizing the opulent lives of drug traffickers and their use of violence and while banned from radio and public performances in some Mexican states, narcocorridos are becoming increasingly popular across Latin America and the United States. They currently top the Latin music charts and dominate radio playlists in many cities in the US and in Latin America, especially in Mexico and Central America. This presentation explores narcocorrido music and its widespread reception to make sense of the complexities of drug-related violence.

          María José Méndez is in the PhD program in Political Science at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include postcolonial approaches to the questions of indigeneity and sovereignty as well as theorizations on contemporary global capitalism and the resistance to its effects. Her dissertation explores the politics of death and the political economy of the drug wars in Latin America, with particular attention to the multiple ways in which subaltern groups contest and navigate the evolving landscape of massacres and narco-capitalist accumulation. Her presentation this Thursday is entitled: "The Soundtrack of War: Narcocorridos and Drug War Violence in Latin America."
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