Genocide, Colonialism, and the International (711IR)

30 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Spring teaching

This module adopts a global lens in order to offer an in-depth exploration of genocide throughout history and in the contemporary world. Drawing on insights from fields as diverse as anthropology, history, sociology, philosophy, psychology and law, it examines contrasting scholarly approaches to the analysis and explanation of genocide. We take a detailed look at the origins of the concept itself, and survey conceptual and theoretical debates that are often highly politicised. Illuminating neglected intellectual threads and histories, the module is underpinned by a philosophy of decentring the conventional genocide ‘canon’, excavating taken for granted meanings, and unpacking the complex issues associated with labelling a situation as a ‘genocide’. Indeed, doing so is necessary if we are to engage critically with the experience of genocide in the contemporary world, as well as the challenges (and dangers) of response.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


10%: Coursework (Group presentation)
90%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2021/22. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.