Special Seminar Series: 

Crimes Against Humanity:  Historical Trauma and Legal Response


Craig-Kade Scholar in Residence

Department of Germanic, Russian and Eastern European Languages and Literatures

October 4,  18; November 1, 15, 29; December 13

The workshop will focus on the legal, political, historical, and pedagogical issues raised by efforts to create coherent, judicially manageable responses to unprecedented crimes.  We will examine how the criminal trial has been used as a tool of collective pedagogy, as a means by which to construct and strengthen new national identities, and as a privileged stage on which collective struggles to come to terms with historical trauma have been played out.  In addition to studying the most important human rights trials of the past sixty years and the legal precedents they have set, we will examine truth commissions and other non-prosecutorial responses to collective violence and state-sponsored atrocities.  Readings will be supplemented by screenings of trial proceedings, documentary films, and discussions with human rights advocates