University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies



2014 Academic Year

Genocide and its Aftermaths:Lessons from Rwanda


A Series of Events to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the genocide in Rwanda
April 16, 17, 19, 2014
University of Minnesota

Sponsorship made possible in part by the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Fund at theMinneapolis Foundation.

The Institute for Global Studies, The Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies and the Human Rights Program are hosting three days of events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. The events will include a public conference, a student conference, and a K-16 teacher workshop. The objectives of the commemorative events are: promoting public understanding of what happened in Rwanda, discussing the immediate responses of the international community to the violence, and analyzing the long-term consequences that the cataclysmic failure to prevent the genocide had on international policy and action.

Public Conference

The public conference is designed to bring together research and praxis. Academics, activists and diplomats will lead a public exploration of what we have learned from the genocide in Rwanda and how we have been affected by, and should use, that knowledge to create more effective methods of intervention. Themes of the panels include: representations of atrocity, immediate aftermaths, transitional justice and its impacts, and preventing genocide and mass atrocity. This event will be free and open to the public.

Featured Speaker:Adama Dieng, UN Special Advisor on Genocide Prevention
Other Speakers Include:

  • Eric Schwartz, Dean, Humphrey School, former National Security Adviser to President Clinton
  • Curt Goering, Executive Director, Center for Victims of Torture and former Chief Operating Officer at Amnesty International USA
  • Alejandro Baer, Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota
  • Jean-Damscène Gasanabo, Director General of Research with the Research and Documentation Center of the Rwandan Government: Situation on the ground in Rwanda
  • Gregory Gordon, Director of the University of North Dakota (UND) Center for Human Rights & Genocide Studies and Former Legal Officer, at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
  • Barbara Frey, Director of Human Rights Program at the University of Minnesota
  • Samuel Totten, Ed.D, Professor of Political Science, University of Arkansas
  • Leigh Payne, Professor at Oxford and Senior Research Fellow for the Institute for Global Studies
  • Taylor Krauss,filmmaker and founder of Voices of Rwanda
  • Dan Wildeson,Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education at St. Cloud State University
  • Jean-Pierre Karegeye,Assistant Professor in French and Francophone Studies at Macalester College and Co-founder of the Interdisciplinary Genocide Studies Center in Kigali, Rwanda
  • Wahutu Siguru,Sociology Graduate student at the University of Minnesota, Bernard and Fern Badzin Fellow
  • Hollie Nyseth-Brehm, PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Minnesota and future Assistant Professor at Ohio State University, Fall 2014
  • Chris Uggen, Distinguished McKnightProfessor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota
  • Nicole Fox,PhD Candidate in Sociology at Brandeis University and future Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, Fall 2014
  • Marie Berry,PhD Candidate in Sociology at UCLA

The Student Conference

April 17th
President's Room and Theater at Coffman Union

The students’ conference will bring together undergraduate students throughout the Midwest, from different disciplines, who are working on the genocide in Rwanda or other episodes of genocide and mass violence.


Co-sponsors: University of Minnesota Sociological Society, the Human Rights Program Student Advisory Board, STAND, Humphrey for Human Rights, Humphrey International Student Association, Departments of History, French and Italian, Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, African American and African Studies, the Institute of Diversity, Equality and Advocacy, the Human Rights Center, the Program in Social Studies Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, CEHD and the Program in Human Rights and Health at the University of Minnesota, The Center for Victims of Torture, The Advocates for Human Rights, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, St. Cloud State Center for Holocaust and Genocide Education, World Without Genocide, Global Solutions, Student Pre-Law Society.


2013 Academic Year

Representing Genocide artwork

Representing Genocide: Media, Law and Scholarship
April 5 & 6, 2013
Mondale Hall -The Law School

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 explored 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.

Conference Organizers: 
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

Participating Scholars:
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

Schedule: Schedule_Symposium Representing Genocide (1).pdf

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.

The Symposium was made possible by the Wexler Special Events fund for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Past Symposia and Conferences

  • Betrayal of the Humanities: The University During the Third Reich Sunday April 15 & Monday April 16, 2012
  • Conference on Norway: World War II and the Holocaust April 2007
  • Spaces of War: France and the Francophone World October 2006
  • Association of Holocaust Organizations Annual Conference June 2006
  • Association of Genocide Scholars 4th International Bi-annual Conference: Detering and Preventing Genocide: Missed Opportunitites, Contemporary Issues & Future Possibilities June 2001
  • Departures: New Feminist Perspectives on the Holocaust April 2001
  • Hun Piao Symposium on Asian Tragedies of World War II October 2001
  • Creating the Other: the Causes & Dynamics of Nationalism, Ethnic Enmity & Racism in Central & Eastern Europe May 1999
  • Conference on Memory and Outrage February 1999