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Holocaust and Genocide Studies Learning Objectives

1) Students will closely and critically examine the Holocaust in the context of modern European history and culture, with a strong focus on antisemitism, the development of Nazi ideologies, and consolidation of power in post-WWI Germany.

2) Students will probe and evaluate moral, spiritual, and ethical issues that are central to learning about, and from, the Holocaust (these include, but are not limited to, questions about the prevalence of dehumanization and prejudice; the complicity of “ordinary people” regarding mass violence and genocide; the role of other nations in condemning or ignoring Nazi discriminations and violence; and the relative scarcity of anti-Nazi resistance).

3) Through engaging and analyzing written texts, images, monuments, and other cultural and artistic phenomena created during and after the Holocaust, students will grapple with and seek to understand the wide-ranging and even strongly divergent ways in which people experienced and drew meaning from the Holocaust and its aftermath.

4) By reflecting deeply on the Holocaust and other selected instances of systematic mass violence in human history, students will challenge and complicate their own assumptions about human behavior and decisions, democratic institutions and politics, religious and moral teachings, social systems and structures, and economic incentives and rewards.

5) By examining and evaluating the relationships that individuals and groups have to systematic mass violence and genocide (including the roles of the perpetrators, beneficiaries, bystanders, and resisters), students will enhance their own capacities for critical self-reflection, moral development, and ethical decision-making in contexts where dehumanization, oppression, and injustice are present.

6) Throughout the program, students will practice and strengthen their intellectual and civic skills, including the ability to participate in thoughtful and challenging discussion, to write clearly, to build and explain complex arguments, to locate and use evidence ethically, and to advocate for the rights and dignity of others.