GENOCIDES AND ECOCIDES Andrzej_Fasiecki_Rozstrzelanie_Shooting_2014

Spring 2014 - Wednesday 5:15-8:05 pm - bldg: 300-303
Stanford University, Anthro 339A - French 339A - REES 339A [5 units]

Ewa Domanska


This course will explore the relationship between history, ecological evolution and mass killing in the age of humanly caused species extinction. It will explore the universalization of the notion of the Jewish Holocaust, its use to integrate into genocide studies the Native American “spiritual” holocaust, the Japanese nuclear holocaust and the Rwandan genocide, and the ethical dilemmas posed by the ideas of biotic, animal and ecological holocausts. Anthropology and history of genocides and extinctions as well as posthumanist, multispecies theories will provide theoretical frames for the course.

Topics of the seminar will include: genocide and ecocide studies in the framework of Anthropocene Humanities; genocides as human suicide/self-extinction; strategies of dehumanization (humans and insects); paradigms of genocides; comparisons between (human and animal) holocausts and slavery (human and animal); ecocide as environmental ”holocaust”; Native Americans’ spiritual holocaust or/and environmental genocide; nuclear holocaust (Hiroshima); post-catastrophic spaces as ecological Eden (Chernobyl) - nature without humans.

This course is a research seminar designed to help students work on papers for other classes, theses and individual projects. It will introduce various approaches to the subject and subjectivity and stress an awareness of how to draw on and combine these approaches for analyzing students’ own research materials. It advocates a bottom-up approach to theory building thus it also teach students how to formulate their own interpretative categories and small range theories based on case study analysis.



Attendance is mandatory. Students who miss m ore than three m eetings (except for illness or other serious m atters) will not be graded. Students are expected to read assigned readings carefully and participate in discussions. Each student will sign up to present a text relevant to the the m e of the readings for that week. Class presentations will be li m ited to 10-15 m inutes. A 15 page final paper is required. Its topic will be chosen by the student hi m self/herself. It can draw upon work being done in other classes but m ust utilize the m aterials of this course as well. Grading: participation - 40%; class presentation - 20%; final paper - 40%.





April 2
1. Introduction: overview of the course

April 9
2. Genocide and Ecocide Studies in the Framework of Anthropocene Humanities

  • Paul Crutzen, Geology of Mankind. Nature, vol. 415, 3 January 2002: 23.
  • Gisli Palsson, Bronislaw Szerszynski, Sverker Sörlin, et al., Reconceptualizing the ‘Anthropos’ in the Anthropocene: Integrating the social sciences and humanities in global environmental change research. Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 28, 2013: 3-13. [Special Issue: Responding to the Challenges of our Unstable Earth]
  • Ben Dibley, The Shape of Things to Come’: Seven Theses on the Anthropocene and Attachement. Australian Humanities Review, vol. 52, 2012.
  • Michael J. Denton, The Place of Life and Man in Nature. Defending Anthropocentric Thesis. Bio-Complexity, no. 1, 2013: 1-15.
  • Elizabeth Ellsworth, and Jamie Kruse, ”Introduction”, in: Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life, ed. by  Elizabeth Ellsworth, and Jamie Kruse. Brooklyn, NY: punctum books, 2013: 6-26.
  • Poul Holm, Michael Evan Goodsiteb, Sierd Cloetinghc, et al., Collaboration between the Natural, Social and Human Sciences in Global Change Research. Environmental Science & Policy, vol. 28, 2013: 25–35.
  • Paul Robbins and Sarah A. Moore, Ecological Anxiety Disorder: Diagnosing the Politics of the Anthropocene. Cultural Geographies, vol. 20, no. 1, 2013: 3-19.
    • The Anthropocene: Humankind as a Turning Point for Earth. Interview with David Grinspoon. Astrobology Magazine.
    • W.C. Clark, P. J. Crutzen, and H. J. Schellnhuber, Science for Global Sustainability. Toward a New Paradigm, in: Earth System Analysis for Sustainability, ed. by Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Paul J. Crutzen, William C. Clark, et. al. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2004.
    • Nigel Clark, Ex-orbitant Globality. Theory, Culture, Society, vol. 22, no. 5, 2005: 165–185.
    • The Anthropology of Climate Change: An Historical Reader, ed. by Michael R. Dove. Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

April 16
3. Genocides as Human Suicide (or self-extinction)

  • Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide, Alexander Laban Hinton. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002 (chapter 1-3: 1-91 and chapter 14: 348-381).
  • Johan Galtung, Violence, Peace and Peace Research. Journal of Peace Research, vol. 6, no. 3, 1969: 167-191.
  • Rob Nixon, Slow Violence, Gender, and the Environmentalism of the Poor. Cambridge. Mass., London: Harvard University Press, 2011 (“Introduction”: 1-44).
  • Adam Jones, Genocide. A Comprehensive Introduction, 2nd edition. London and New York: Routledge, 2011 (chapter 1: "The Origins of Genocide": 3-64 and Part III: Social Sciences Perspectives: 383-491).
    • Genocides by the Oppressed. Subaltern Genocide in Theory and Practice, ed. by Nicholas A. Robins and Adam Jones. Indiana University Press, 2009 (Adam Jones and Nicholas A. Robins, "Introduction": 1-22).
    • New Directions in Genocide Research, ed. by Adam Jones. New York and London: Routledge, 2011.
    • Omer Bartov, Eastern Europe as the Site of Genocide. The Journal of Modern History, vol. 80, September 2008: 557–593.
    • Tarik Kochi & Noam Ordan, An Argument for the Global Suicide of Humanity. Borderlands, vol. 7, no. 3, 2008.
    • Alexander Laban Hinton, Critical Genocide Studies. Genocide Studies and Prevention, vol. 7, no. 1, Spring 2012: 4-15.
    • Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2012 (“Conclusion: Humanity”: 387-411).
    • Garry M. Leech, Capitalism: A Structural Genocide. London: Zed, 2012.
    • List of wars and anthropogenic disasters by death toll

April 23
4. Strategies of Dehumanization / Humans and Insects

  • Nick Haslam, Dehumanization: An Integrative Review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, vol. 10, no. 3, 2006: 252-264.
  • Giorgio Agamben, "Anthropological Machine", in his, The Open: Man and Animal, trans. by Kevin Attell. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2004: 33-38.
  • Edmund Russell, Anihilation (1943-1945), in his, War and Nature. Fighting Humans and Insects with Chemicals from World War to Silent Spring. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001: 119-144.
  • Hugh Raffles, Jews, in his, Insectopedia. New York: Pantheon Books, 2010: 141-161.
    • Michael Lundblad, From Animal to Animality Studies. PMLA, vol. 124, no. 2, 2009: 496-502.
    • Nick Haslam, Stephen Loughnan, Catherine Reynolds, Samuel Wilson, “Dehumanization: A New Perspective.” Social and Personality Psychology Compass, vol. 1, no. 1, 2007: 409-422.
    • Jeffrey A. Lockwood, Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War.  Oxford University Press, 2010.
    • William J. Bell, Louis M. Roth, and Christine A. Nalepa foreword by Edward O. Wilson, Cockroaches. Ecology, Behavior, and Natural History. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007.
    • Jeffrey Lockwood, The Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects. Oxford University Press, 2013.

April 30
5. Comparisons I:  Paradigms of Genocides  (Holocaust – Slavery)

  • James P. Sterba, Understanding Evil: American Slavery, the Holocaust, and the Conquest of the American Indians, rev. of Vessels of Evil by Laurence Mordekhai Thomas. Ethics, vol. 106, no. 2, January 1996: 424-448.
  • Robert Melson, Paradigms of Genocide: The Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and Contemporary Mass Destructions. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 548, November 1996: 156-168.
  • David Patrick, Modelling Genocide: Can Humanity's Greatest Scourge be Predicted? Kaleidoscope, vol. 2, no. 1, October 2008: 35-55.
  • William B. Wood, Geographic Aspects of Genocide: A Comparison of Bosnia and Rwanda. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, vol. 26, no. 1, 2001: 57-75.
  • Marc Buggeln, Were Concentration Camp Prisoners Slaves?: The Possibilities and Limits of Comparative History and Global Historical Perspectives. International Review of Social History, vol. 53, 2008: 101-129.
    • Laurence Mordekhai Thomas, Vessels of Evil: American Slavery and the Holocaust. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.
    • Karen Davis, The Holocaust and the Henmaid's Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities. New York: Lantern Books, 2005.

May 7
6. Comparisons II: Human Holocaust / Animal Holocaust; Human Slavery / Animal Slavery
special guest: Hayden White

  • Claire Jean Kim, Moral Extensionism or Racist Exploitation? The Use of Holocaust and Slavery Analogies in the Animal Liberation Movement. New Political Science, vol. 33, no. 3, September 2011: 311-333.
  • David B. MacDonald, Pushing the Limits of Humanity? Reinterpreting Animal Rights and “Personhood” Through the Prism of the Holocaust. Journal of Human Rights, vol. 5, 2006: 417–437.
  • Charles Patterson, Eternal Treblinka. Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust. London: Lantern Books, 2002: 223-232.
  • Marjorie Spiegel, The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery, 3rd, Revised & enlarged edition. Mirror Books/I.D.E.A.; 1997.
  • David Sztybel, Can the Treatment of Animals be Compared to the Holocaust. Ethics and Environment, vol. 11, no. 1, 2006: 97-132. 
  • Nathan Sanza, (Im)possible Witness: Viewing PETA'a 'Holocaust on Your Plate. Animal Liberation Philosophy and Policy Journal, vol. 2, no. 1, 2004: 1-20.
    • Maneesha Deckha, Disturbing Images. PETA and the Feminist Ethics of Animal Advocacy. Ethics & the Environment, vol. 13, no. 2, 2008: 35-76.
    • Richard Iveson, Animal Oppression and the Holocaust Analogy: A Summary of Controversy
    • Corey Lee Wrenn, Abolition Then and Now: Tactical Comparisons Between the Human Rights Movement and the Modern Nonhuman Animal Rights Movement in the United States. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, vol. 27, no. 2, April 2014: 177–200.
    • Angi Buettner, Holocaust Images and Picturing Catastrophe: The Cultural Politics of Seeing. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2011 (chapter 6: "Leaving Victims Behind: Animal Rights, Environmental Catastrope, and the Limits of the Holocaust" : 103ff)

“Acoustic Holocaust"

May 14
7. Ecocide as Environmental ”Holocaust”

  • Nathalie de Pompignan, Ecocide. Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence, 2007.
  • David Zierler, Invention of Ecocide. Agent Orange, Vietnam, and the Scientists Who Changed the Way We Think About the Environment. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011 (“Introduction”: 1-32 and chapter 7: “Surveying a Catastrophe”: 118-137).
  • Franz J. Broswimmer, Ecocide. A Short History of the Mass Extinction of Species. London: Pluto Press, 2002.
    • Polly Higgins & Damien Short & Nigel South, Protecting the planet: a proposal for a law of ecocide. Crime, Law and Social Change, vol. 59, no. 3: 251-266. [Polly Higgins’ website]
    • Elihu D. Richter, Rony Blum, et all., Malthusian Pressures, Genocide and Ecocide. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, vol. 13, no. 3: 331-341.
    • Jean-Paul Sartre, "On Genocide." Ramparts, February 1968: 35-42.
    • Murray Feshbach, Alfred Friendly, Ecocide in the USSR: Health and Nature under Siege. New York, NY: Basic Books, 1992.

May 21
8. Spiritual Holocaust / Environmental Genocide / Colonial Genocide (Native Americans)

  • Ward Churchill, Struggle for the Land. Native North American Resistance to Genocide, Ecocide and Colonization. City Lights Books, 2002: 2002: 11-91; 190-236; 367-402 (plus “Treaty”: 405-437).
  • Donald A. Grinde and Bruce S. Johansen, Ecocide of Native America: Environmental Destruction of Indian Lands and Peoples. Sante Fe, NM: Clear Light Publishers, 1995: 1-55; 105-117; testimony: ecocide and genocide: 246-255; 261-280.
  • Russell Means, “For America to Live, Europe Must Die” (1980)
    • Daniel Brook, Environmental Genocide: Native Americans and Toxic Waste. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, vol. 57, no. 1, January  1998: 105-111.
    • Branden Rensink, The Sand Creek Phenomenon: The Complexity and Difficulty of Undertaking a Comparative Study of Genocide vis-a-vis the Northern American West. Genocide Studies and Prevention, vol. 4, no. 1, April 2009: 9-27.
    • James Riding In, Our Dead Are Never Forgotten: American Indian Struggles for Burial Rights and Protections, in: "They Made Us Many Promises": The American Indian Experience, 1524 to the Present, ed. by Phillip Weeks. Wheeling, Ill.: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 2002: 291-323.
    • Colonial genocide and indigenous North America, ed. by Andrew Woolford, Jeff Benvenuto, and Alexander Hinton. Durham, NC: Duke University Press (forthcoming).

May 28
9. Nuclear Holocaust (Hiroshima)

June 4
10. Nature without  Humans

poster .pdf 
©ed 2014

new course - Spring 2015 - Animism and Alter-Native Modernities