Facing History traces the history of discrimination, prejudice, and their escalation into violence and genocide worldwide in the twentieth century. The course examines global history of the past 100+ years by focusing on how people have marginalized and ultimately sought to separate themselves in extreme ways from one another. It considers the role of perpetrators, victims, bystanders, as well as rescuers and resisters as it looks at the role that individuals play in history. Genocide in Europe, Asia, Africa, and elsewhere is examined in depth in this course, as are other many examples of ethnic cleansing, religious and racial hatreds, and violations of human rights. Of particular interest are recent genocides in Nazi-occupied Europe, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur as well as atrocities in Asia during World War II. The course is taught from an interdisciplinary perspective with a heavy reliance on primary source materials, literature, and art, and makes considerable use of the latest in educational technology, with much of the work required for the course produced online. Current events are emphasized, as the issues raised are ongoing. Numerous guest speakers, including survivors of these historical events as well as scholars and human rights activists, address the class and field trips are an integral part of the course. The course seeks to equip students to become critically minded citizens with the ability to think through the big moral and political choices that they will confront as citizens in modern society.
2018-2019 Summer Reading List is posted below.