SC State's Department of Social Sciences to Introduce The Sociology of Genocide

Thursday, July 29, 2010

SC State University continues to enhance course offerings with the introduction of new and innovative classes.  In the spring of 2011, Dr. Carol Apt, professor of Sociology, will teach a new course entitled the Sociology of Genocide, a 200-level course open to students in the University's Honors College.


The term genocide refers to the deliberate attempt to eliminate entire categories of people because of their race, ethnicity, religion or nationality. Although over 50 million people have died as a result of genocides in the 20th  and 21st  centuries, genocides have plagued humanity for centuries. “It is only by understanding genocide that we can hope to prevent," says Apt.  "The common wisdom is that the study of genocide focuses almost exclusively on the atrocities committed by human beings against their fellow human beings. This course will go beyond that, into examinations of the economic, political and social conditions that contribute to various genocides."


Specific topics to be considered include, but are not limited to, the roles of various actors in genocides, such as victims’ perpetrators, bystanders, beneficiaries, survivors, as well as definitions of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality and social class. While the Holocaust that occurred in Europe in the middle of the 20th  century will be studied, the course will also examine genocides in other parts of the world, such as: Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.


Apt began her education in genocide studies with two generous grants from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) in Washington, D.C., each of which was for a week-long course of study.  Last summer, she was also the recipient of a grant from the Holocaust Educational Foundation for a two-week seminar that took place on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.


To learn more about the Sociology of Genocide, contact Dr. Carol Apt at (803) 536-8688.