Understanding the Unthinkable
Genocide and mass atrocities are often presented in a way that makes violence seem inexplicable, thus inexorable. Similarly perpetrators are portrayed as being actors motivated solely by an irrational hatred. And yet, genocide is a recurrent and contemporary historical dilemma. How can we explain this discrepancy? In the Master's programme Holocaust and Genocide Studies, we seek to demystify genocide by taking an interdisciplinary, scholarly approach to understanding genocide and mass atrocities.
Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the UvA
Key features of the Master's programme Holocaust and Genocide Studies:
- The curriculum focuses on genocide and mass atrocities in the 20th century, encompassing the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, the Armenian Genocide, Cambodia and other contemporary cases.
- Wide-ranging engagement with genocide, from the causes to representations in the arts and transitional justice following mass atrocities.
- An international student body.
- The context of the Netherlands offers our students several advantages including the opportunity to visit genocide-related sites, as well as the international criminal tribunals in The Hague.
- The programme is a collaboration between the University of Amsterdam and the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies. This integration of the programme with a well-established (more than 70 years old) research and archival centre makes the programme unique. You will have access to a specialised library of war, Holocaust, and genocide studies, as well as the potential draw the more than 2,500 metres of archival materials managed by the NIOD, and the expertise of NIOD researchers.
As a student in the Master’s programme in Holocaust and Genocide Studies you will be expected to have the following knowledge, insight and skills:
- You are interested in mass violence, genocide, Holocaust, war, conflict, atrocities, global affairs, human rights and transitional justice from a scholarly perspective;
- You have a strong engagement in current politics and contemporary society;
- You are interested in historical, comparative and contemporary research;
- You are interested in multidisciplinary research (i.e. history, sociology, anthropology, political sciences, psychology, law, journalism);
- You have an interest in actively engaging in in-class discussions and debates;
- You are able to read and understand complex historical, sociological and legal texts (in English);
- You are self-motivated, critical and can work independently; and you know how to critically engage with primary sources, secondary literature and theory;
- You wish to learn advanced research and writing skills leading to a research-oriented career or doctoral study.
This programme is also offered in part-time study mode, in which case it takes 2 years. You can obtain a maximum of 30 ECTS per year (12-18 ECTS per semester). As a part-time student you will follow the programme together with full-time students. You will prepare your study plan for the part-time programme in consultation with the Master’s programme coordinator (See: Contact).
Holocaust and Genocide Studies is an accredited degree programme of History.
After successful completion of this programme, you will receive a legally
accredited Master’s degree in History and the title Master of Arts (MA).