Book cover image for: Understanding Atrocities: Remembering, Representing, and Teaching Genocide

Understanding Atrocities: Remembering, Representing, and Teaching Genocide


Edited by Scott W. Murray

$34.95 CAD / $34.95 USD

296 pages, 3 illustrations

6 x 9 inches

978-1-55238-889-1 (mobi)

978-1-55238-885-3 (Paperback)

978-1-55238-887-7 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-55238-888-4 (ePub)

Arts in Action

February 2017

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About the Book

Understanding Atrocities is a wide-ranging collection of essays bridging scholarly and community-based efforts to understand and respond to the global, transhistorical problem of genocide. The essays in this volume investigate how evolving, contemporary views on mass atrocity frame and complicate the possibilities for the understanding and prevention of genocide. The contributors ask, among other things, what are the limits of the law, of history, of literature, and of education in understanding and representing genocidal violence? What are the challenges we face in teaching and learning about extreme events such as these, and how does the language we use contribute to or impair what can be taught and learned about genocide? Who gets to decide if it’s genocide and who its victims are? And how does the demonization of perpetrators of atrocity prevent us from confronting the complicity of others, or of ourselves? Through a multi-focused and multidisciplinary investigation of these questions, Understanding Atrocities demonstrates the vibrancy and breadth of the contemporary state of genocide studies.

Scott W. Murray is Associate Professor of History at Mount Royal University. He was a Hess Faculty Fellow in the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2015, and a Holocaust Education Foundation Fellow at Northwestern University in 2013. He was also the recipient of the Calgary Jewish Community Award for Holocaust and Human Rights in 2011 and 2013.

With Contributions By: Amarnath Amarasingam, Andrew R. Basso, Kristin Burnett, Lori Chambers, Laura Beth Cohen, Travis Hay, Steven Leonard Jacobs, Lorraine Markotic, Sarah Minslow, Donia Mounsef, Adam Muller, Scott W. Murray, Christopher Powell, and Raffi Sarkissian

Praise for Understanding Atrocities

[This book] provides a window into the urgent, complex, and interdisciplinary dialogues underway in Genocide Studies. 

– Jobb Arnold, Peace Research