Longman to Oversee BU’s New Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies Major

Photos of victims exhibited at the Genocide Memorial Center in Kigali, Rwanda © AP

Timothy Longman, Professor of International Relations and Political Science and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs (CURA), will serve as associate director of BU’s new interdisciplinary major in Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies (HGHRS).

Longman will serve alongside the program’s director Nancy Harrowitz, director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Jewish Studies and a College of Arts & Sciences professor of Italian and Jewish studies. Based at the Wiesel Center, the HGHRS program also includes an existing minor and a graduate certificate program. Students in the major will closely and critically examine the Holocaust and other genocides in the context of modern history and culture, focusing on racism, anti-Semitism, nationalist ideologies, and other causes of genocide. The human rights component will look at the role of international conventions on human rights and international courts in responding to genocide.

“This has become a topic that is not just unavoidable, but something that we have a moral responsibility to tackle,” says Longman, “because it’s part of our modern reality, and our students need to be educated in how to understand and make sense of it, and ultimately help prevent mass atrocities like what I saw in Rwanda.”

The new major will launch on Wednesday, October 26, when Timothy Snyder, a Yale professor of history and author of Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning (Crown Publishing, 2015), delivers the first of this year’s Elie Wiesel Memorial Lectures, “The War in Ukraine and the Question of Genocide.” Snyder will speak on the genocidal actions and language of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Visit the College of Arts & Science’s HGHRS website for details on the new major. For more, read BU Today‘s story on the new HGHRS major.

Professor Timothy Longman‘s current research focuses on state-society relations in Africa, looking particularly at human rights, transitional justice, democratization, civil society, the politics of race and ethnicity, religion and politics, and women and politics. He has published two books based on his research in Rwanda: Christianity and Genocide in Rwanda (Cambridge University Press 2011), and Memory and Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda (Cambridge University Press 2017). Read more about Professor Longman on his faculty profile.