Spring 2021 Courses – Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Studies

The African Diaspora in the Americas

CAS HI 489/AA 489 (4 Credits)

History of peoples of African descent in the Americas after end of slavery from an international framework. Examines development of racial categories, emergence of national identities in wake of the wars of independence, diverse Black communities in the twentieth century. Also offered as CAS AA 489.

Genocide in Literature and Film

CAS LF 481 (4 Credits)

Examines the emergence of new artistic forms in literature, film, and performance arts on the 1994 genocide of Tutsis in Rwanda. Authors to be discussed: Diop, Tadjo, Mukasonga, Gatore. Films and BD by: Peck, Kivu, Karekezi, Ndiaye, Stassen. Taught in English.

The Holocaust Through Film 

CAS JS 367 (4 Credits) Mts w/ CAS XL 387

An examination of film using the Holocaust as its central topic. What are the political and cultural effects when genocide is represented through film? Can feature films portray history, and if so, what are the consequences for an informed society? Effective Spring 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Global Citizenship, and Intercultural Literacy, Writing- Intensive Course.

International Human Rights: Applying Human Rights in Africa

CAS IR 352/PO 378 (4 Credits)

Studies the growing international influence on politics of human rights principles, documents, and organizations, drawing especially on African cases such as Congo, Zimbabwe, and Sudan. The class explores the relationship between civil and political rights and economic, social, and culture rights. The class considers debates over claims of universality vs. cultural relativism, individual vs. group rights, and ways to improve human rights enforcement well respecting local cultures. Meets with CAS PO 378.

Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism

CAS RN 249 (4 Credits)

Exploration of historical and contemporary manifestations of Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Students use various theoretical approaches to examine a wide range of relevant texts (written and visual) from late antiquity to modern America. Includes active learning and fieldwork. Click here to learn more about the class. 

Seminar on the Holocaust

CAS RN 460/STH TX 805 (4 Credits)

This course will examine historical, ethical and religious issues arising from the Holocaust. The class will discuss antisemitism and ideology; what communities were considered “other”; human motivation regarding collaborators, perpetrators and bystanders; the role of individuals, organizations and governments; the treatment of women; the ethics of resistance; the behavior of the Jewish Councils; and attitudes to the existence of God during and after the Holocaust. Additionally the course will compare the Holocaust to contemporary crises now occurring around the world. 

International Human Rights

LAW JD 991 (4 Credits)

The course will introduce students to the concepts of human rights, and the legal texts that have codified and provided content to those concepts in the last seventy years. The course aims to work at three levels: to examine the role of human rights (law) in history and politics; to analyze the doctrine of international human rights law; to introduce key areas of current and future human rights practice. 

Health and Human Rights

SPH LW 740 (4 Credits)

This course focuses on health and it is closely linked to the realization of human rights. Preventable illness, infant mortality, and premature death, for example, are closely tied to societal discrimination and violation of human rights. This course explores the relationship between human rights and health by examining relevant international declarations in historical context, exploring the meaning of “human rights” and “health,” and analyzing specific case studies that illuminate the problems, prospects, and potential methods of promoting health by promoting human rights on the national and international levels.