Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Session C1 1: Impact of COVID on the Field of Genocide
Monday, 19/July/2021:
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Session Chair: Sara Brown, Center for Holocaust, Human Rights & Genocide Education, United States of America
Location: Room 1


Challenges to Remembering, preventing and memorializing political genocide of Union Patriótica Party. Experiencias of Memory, justiciability and transitional justice under Covid reality.

Santiago Medina-Villarreal

Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia

Victims of the Political Genocide committed against members of political party in Colombia between 1985 and 2016 were victimized almost 4000 victims as members of the political party. Currently the victims are facing new challenges to remember the past and pursuing justice in a transitional context. In the context of the Covid Pandemic the Inter-American Court of Human Rights would had a virtual hearing about this case. The case have been pending before the Inter-American System by almost 30 years without justice. Victims had due testify to the Court using digital technologies. In addition, in the context of transitional justice process in Colombia the Special Jurisdiction of Peace and the Truth Commission heard victim´s testimonies to memorializing the past occurred in relation with the political genocide. The presentation will demonstrate how the victims and organizations of victims were faced with the impunity throughout the virtuality. In fact, a strategy to facilitate workshops, encounters, hearings, and the urgency to gave their testimonies to the Truth Commission, because the mandate will finish in November of 2021. That experiences of victims shows their capability and adaptation to face new forms of participating, in strategies of remembering, justice and memorializing. On the other hand, the participation of victims have been enriched by the amplification of access to public information about the memory of the political genocide.

Social Media and Pandemic Responses: Independent or Compounding Forces in Atrocity Risk and Resilience?

Nadia M Rubaii, Max Pensky

I-GMAP, Binghamton University, State University of New York, United States of America

Independently, social media and the COVID-19 pandemic provide challenges and opportunities for atrocity prevention, and together they may amplify risk or resilience. That is, while each have the potential to heighten genocide risk or allow for more effective genocide prevention, the response to a global pandemic at a time when social media is such a powerful force increases the stakes and may exaggerate the effects. This paper builds on prior research examining the use of social media to spread dangerous speech that incites violence as well as a tool to engage in counter speech (Benesch, 2012, 2020; Callamard, 2018; Kaye, 2019), as well as research articulating how pandemic responses can contribute to atrocity risk or resilience (Rubaii, Whigham & Appe, 2020; Waller 2020). Our typology evaluates countries along two dimensions – social media contributions to atrocity risk or resilience, and pandemic response contributions to atrocity risk or resilience. We speculate and seek to empirically evaluate whether the risk/risk (lower left quadrant) and resilience/resilience (upper right quadrant) are more common than the mixed responses. Drawing upon examples representing diverse geographic, political, economic and social criteria, we illustrate how the two forces work independently or to compound each other, and emphasize lessons that can be learned from cases demonstrating resilience on one or both dimensions.

[Note: We were unable to include the figure representing the dimensions/quadrants]


Benesch, S. (2020). Countering dangerous speech. USHMM.

Benesch, S. (2012). Dangerous Speech. World Policy Institute

Callamard, A. (2018) The prevention of atrocity crimes and social media. Global Freedom of Expression. Columbia University

Kaye, D. (2019). Speech Police. Columbia Global Reports.

Rubaii, N., Whigham, K., & Appe, S. (2020) The Public Administration Imperative of Applying an Atrocity Prevention Lens to COVID-19 Responses. Administrative Theory & Praxis.

Waller, J. (2020). Implications of COVID-19 for Atrocity Prevention, AIPG.

Genocide, Covid-19, and Structural Violence

Adam Jason Jones

University of British Columbia Okanagan, Canada

This paper will consider specific elements of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis in the light of existing research on genocide and structural/institutional violence. Four case-studies will be considered, in which it is argued that Covid-19 policy measures have resulted, or may have resulted, in destructive consequences that approach or surpass the pandemic's health toll, whether on a local, national, or global level. (1) Extended-care homes and the "genocidal continuum" in the western world (with a case-study of Quebec). The elderly have been widely recognized as the most vulnerable to the pandemic, which has highlighted systemic debilities in their care and treatment. The little-studied phenomenon of gerontocide will be addressed in this context. (2) The crisis of opioid overdoses in British Columbia, Canada, which killed more people in 2020 than Covid-19, homicides, suicides, and automobile accidents combined. Research suggests that the sharply-increased death-toll is a consequence of provincial government decisions to exclude safe-injection sites from the list of "essential services" allowed to remain open during the pandemic, while liquor stores, for example, were deemed "essential." (3) Agricultural and meatpacking workers in the United States. These workers, many of them undocumented migrants, have been notably hard-hit by the pandemic. Whistleblowers have pointed to systemic negligence and unsafe/abusive conditions in these industries. Federal policies have focused on maintaining supply chains and shielding corporate actors from liability, rather than safeguarding workers. (4) Drawing upon the preceding themes, the globally-gendered impact of pandemic-era policymaking will be examined, with particular attention to women and girls in spheres including employment, health, education, and (forced) marriage. The paper concludes with policy recommendations, as well as observations about prevailing framings and possible futures of genocide studies.

Introduction to Digital Technology Tools for Engagement in Remote Classroom Settings

Amy Fagin

Beyond Genocide Centre for Prevention, United States of America

This presentation will adhere to the submission guideline for “use of digital media in genocide education and human rights movements”. After the onslaught of instructional challenges faced by academic teachers at all levels of education during the pandemic it is essential that educators are prepared to utilize the growing body of tech tools that advance learning and engagement via remote access.

Fortunately, there are many groundbreaking “tech tools” that facilitate effective and creative integration for a distance learning classroom experience. Emergent digital technologies and their potential use for supporting specified learning outcomes can be applied to a wide range of disciplines.

For this presentation I will offer five three-minute pre-recorded screencast demonstrations that will introduce and outline how-to-find and how-to-use a wide variety of tech-tool categories. The presentation will offer step by step demonstrations with several popular tools that are designed to augment individual and collaborative learning in a remote classroom setting. The following categories of media tools will be introduced: Screen-casting, Podcasting, Augmented Reality Applications, and Digital Presentation Tools. Each demonstration will be designed to facilitate curation of skills in facilitating learning outcomes for genocide education / prevention for a sampled selection of academic disciplines within the field.

A spreadsheet of tech tools and their links will be provided for participants and a 5-minute Q and A will close the 20-minute presentation.