Minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies

The minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies offers students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the causes and consequences of past acts of genocide and to consider human rights law as a means of violence prevention. The Holocaust and Genocide and Human Rights Studies minor was established in 2016 as the Holocaust and Genocide Studies minor. It was updated to include Human Rights Studies in fall 2018. The Program is directed by Professor Nancy Harrowitz.

The study of government-sponsored crimes against humanity, the perpetrator state, the impact of extreme nationalism and the use of the media in spreading racism and prejudice, requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Minor accordingly draws on faculty trained in different disciplines and fields of expertise, including the history of the Holocaust and the Armenian genocide, African history, law, literature and film of the Holocaust and other genocides, political theory, and religion.

The program also introduces students to the various institutional means available for the prevention of genocide and other crimes against humanity, for the cultivation of good relations among ethnic, racial, national, and religious groups and the effective management of tensions among them, and for the promotion and protection of human rights.

The principal objective of the minor is to provide the student with the intellectual tools to analyze the multifaceted social, economic, cultural, civil, and political components of society under genocidal regimes, under repressive governments with poor human rights records, and the closely interconnected domestic and international environments in which such regimes operate. Further, the student develops proficiency in analyzing government-citizen relations, including the extent to which individuals, societies, and domestic and international NGOs can intervene to promote and protect human rights and prevent genocide. Completion of the Minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies helps students to prepare for graduate studies in history, political science, law, literature, and religion, in addition to careers in social and governmental service.

In partnership with the Pardee School of Global Studies and the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs (CURA), we also offer a graduate certification program in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies. For more information on the graduate program please contact CURA Director Tim Longman (longman@bu.edu).

Read the BU Today article about the Holocaust and Genocide Studies minor!


Requirements

Students minoring in Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies will be required to complete six (4-credit) courses, three of which will be required, and three will be electives, distributed as follows and chosen in consultation with the student’s minor advisor:

Required Courses

  • 1 Holocaust core course: CAS RN 384 History of the Holocaust
  • 1 Genocide core course: CAS HI 384 History of Genocide
  • 1 Human Rights core course: Students may choose one of the following courses to fulfill their requirement:
    • CAS IR 352/PO 378 International Human Rights: Applying Human Rights in Africa
    • CAS HI 346/IR 348 History of International Human Rights
    • CAS HI 435 Histories of Human Rights

Elective Courses

– 1 elective in Holocaust Studies

– 1 elective in Genocide Studies

– 1 additional elective


Available Courses

Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies minors can choose from the following classes to fulfill their elective requirements:

CAS HI 270 Twentieth-Century Germany
CAS HI 271 The Nazis
CAS HI 443 Jews and Germans
CAS RN 384 The Holocaust
CAS RN 439/STH TX 859/SPH LW 739 Jewish Bioethics and Holocaust Studies
CAS RN/XL/LI 459 Primo Levi Within Holocaust Literature
CAS RN 460/STH TX 805 Seminar on the Holocaust
CAS XL 281/RN 385/CI 269 Holocaust Literature and Film (in English translation)
CAS XL 387/CI 387 The Holocaust Through Film
CAS HI 380 The Armenian Genocide
CAS HI 543/IR 437 The Prevention of Genocide
CAS LF 481/CI 490 Genocide in Literature and Film
CAS HI 346 / CAS IR 348 History of International Human Rights
CAS HI 430 Comparative European Fascism
CAS HI 435 Histories of Human Rights
CAS HI 489 / CAS AA 489 The African Diaspora in the Americas
CAS IR 306 International Human Rights Law
CAS IR 352 / CAS PO 378 International Human Rights: Applying Human Rights in Africa 
CAS RN 249 Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism

Additional courses will be posted when information becomes available. Please contact the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies (ewcjs@bu.edu) or Prof. Harrowitz (nharrow@bu.edu) for updated course information.


More Information and Advising

Get to know the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Studies Faculty.

If you are interested in the minor in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies, please contact Professor Nancy Harrowitz at nharrow@bu.edu or call 617.353.8096 for an advising appointment.