Holocaust Studies Lecture
On Wednesday, 27 March, at 7:00 p.m. in Memorial Lounge of the Waterman Building (Room 338) we will welcome Professor James Waller of Keene State College to UVM to speak on the topic:
“Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing.”
A social psychologist, Professor Waller writes of the lecture:
"While the macro-level mechanics and structures of genocide are most often our focus of study, at its heart, genocide and mass atrocity happen because individual humans choose to kill other individual humans in large numbers and over an extended period of time. Who are the killers on the front lines of genocide and how do they come to do such extraordinary evil? Drawing from over two decades of archival study of Holocaust perpetrators, and face-to-face interviews with over 225 rank-and-file perpetrators from Latin America, the former Yugoslavia, Africa, and Northern Ireland, this presentation will focus on the ordinary origins of these killers and the processes by which they become capable of such atrocities. Understanding these processes can be vital to resolving current conflicts as well as preventing the future occurrence of genocide and mass atrocity.”
James Waller is Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and chair of that same department, at Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire. He is the author of five books, most notably his award-winning book Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2007) and Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide (Oxford University Press, 2016). His sixth book, A Troubled Sleep: Risk and Resilience in Contemporary Northern Ireland, is scheduled for release by Oxford University Press in late 2019. In the policymaking arena, Waller is also regularly involved in his role as Director of Academic Programs with the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation, and as the curriculum developer and lead instructor for the Raphael Lemkin Seminars for Genocide Prevention. He has also delivered invited briefings on genocide prevention and perpetrator behavior for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the CIA Directorate of Intelligence, the International Human Rights Unit of the FBI, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. In 2017, he was the inaugural recipient of the Engaged Scholarship Prize from the International Association of Genocide Scholars in recognition of his exemplary engagement in advancing genocide awareness and prevention.
Please consider joining us for this event!