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Hidden Genocides

Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory

Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Rutgers University Press
Pages: 248
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  • Book Info
    Hidden Genocides
    Book Description:

    Why are some genocides prominently remembered while others are ignored, hidden, or denied? Consider the Turkish campaign denying the Armenian genocide, followed by the Armenian movement to recognize the violence. Similar movements are building to acknowledge other genocides that have long remained out of sight in the media, such as those against the Circassians, Greeks, Assyrians, the indigenous peoples in the Americas and Australia, and the violence that was the precursor to and the aftermath of the Holocaust.

    The contributors to this collection look at these cases and others from a variety of perspectives. These essays cover the extent to which our biases, our ways of knowing, our patterns of definition, our assumptions about truth, and our processes of remembering and forgetting as well as the characteristics of generational transmission, the structures of power and state ideology, and diaspora have played a role in hiding some events and not others. Noteworthy among the collection's coverage is whether the trade in African slaves was a form of genocide and a discussion not only of Hutus brutalizing Tutsi victims in Rwanda, but of the execution of moderate Hutus as well.

    Hidden Genocidesis a significant contribution in terms of both descriptive narratives and interpretations to the emerging subfield of critical genocide studies.

    Contributors:Daniel Feierstein, Donna-Lee Frieze, Krista Hegburg, Alexander Laban Hinton, Adam Jones, A. Dirk Moses, Chris M. Nunpa, Walter Richmond, Hannibal Travis, and Elisa von Joeden-Forgey

    eISBN: 978-0-8135-6164-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Introduction: Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory
    (pp. 1-18)

    Is slavery genocide?

    On one level, a critical genocide studies asks us to consider whether slavery in the United States is a case of hidden genocide. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. As we consider such questions, we must challenge our taken-forgranted assumptions and ask why given cases have been ignored, denied, or deliberately hidden. The Turkish campaign of denial of the Armenian genocide provides a vivid example of this issue, involving a long period of forgetting and then, as the Armenian diaspora mobilized, attempting to discredit, divert attention from, and deny the idea that a genocide...

  6. PART ONE Genocide and Ways of Knowing

    • 1 Does the Holocaust Reveal or Conceal Other Genocides?: The Canadian Museum for Human Rights and Grievable Suffering
      (pp. 21-51)

      Whether public memory of the Holocaust reveals or conceals other genocides is a common—and controversial—question. Many take it as given that widespread shock about the Holocaust caused the “human rights revolution,” crowned by the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide in 1948. By increasing sensitivity about gross violations generally, the Holocaust is said to inspire interest in and research on other genocides. After all, was not the genocide concept itself, coined by the Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin in 1943, modeled on the wartime persecutions, deportations, and mass murder...

    • 2 Hidden in Plain Sight: Atrocity Concealment in German Political Culture before the First World War
      (pp. 52-67)

      In our thinking about genocide, it is often assumed that genocides are hidden primarily through intentional acts of denial, that is, through propaganda and deception orchestrated by the perpetrating state or armed force. This chapter will examine a less intentional, much more long-term process of “atrocity concealment” involving the creation of official legal categories that encourage widespread delusions about state policy, thereby gradually eroding those public values that shore up polities against genocidal tendencies and hiding future genocidal policies from public recognition. The specific case I will examine is imperial Germany, where potentially genocidal categories were created from the experience...

    • 3 Beyond the Binary Model: National Security Doctrine in Argentina as a Way of Rethinking Genocide as a Social Practice
      (pp. 68-80)

      Genocide studies emerged from a fertile intersection of law, history, and social science. However, a shift in emphasis from understanding to prevention has gradually led to the current “binary model” that reduces genocidal social practices to an eternal struggle between good and evil in which the only problem is whether the “good guys” have enough “political will” to neutralize and defeat the “bad guys.” The result has been a growing trivialization of the termgenocidesince it was coined nearly seventy years ago. A simplistic model has emerged that requires each case of genocide to have one and only one...

  7. PART TWO Power, Resistance, and Edges of the State

    • 4 “Simply Bred Out”: Genocide and the Ethical in the Stolen Generations
      (pp. 83-95)

      After a series of legislative enquiries and reports, statements and apologies, the Australian Labour leader Paul Keating initiated the Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families, titledBringing Them Home(BTH), in 1995.¹ TheBTHreport sought testimony from Aborigines who had been forcibly removed from their families between the early years of the twentieth century to the 1970s, formally known as the Stolen Generations.² As Rosanne Kennedy states: “The report was historically significant because it was the first time this history of separation was officially acknowledged by the...

    • 5 Historical Amnesia: The “Hidden Genocide” and Destruction of the Indigenous Peoples of the United States
      (pp. 96-108)

      Ho Mitakuyapi. Owasin cantewasteya nape ciyuzapi do!In the Dakota language, this is a greeting that means: “Hello, my relatives. With a good heart, I greet all of you with a handshake!”Damakota: “I am a Dakota.”Mini Sota Makoce heciyatanhan wahi: “I come from the land where the waters reflect the skies, or heavens” (the state of Minnesota).

      I come from a people whose lands were stolen. Thus, my perspective will be considerably different from the perspective of the people who stole the lands. I come from a people whose treaties were broken. So, my view of history will...

    • 6 Circassia: A Small Nation Lost to the Great Game
      (pp. 109-126)

      In recent years, genocide scholars and an aggressive international press have uncovered, publicized, and analyzed numerous mass murders that might have remained outside the public view in earlier times. Indeed, the well-known Serbian atrocities in Bosnia and Kosovo were only the latest in a series of ethnic cleansings of Muslims in the Balkans that began with Russia’s brutal annihilation of Muslim communities in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, an ethnic cleansing that was never exposed and has been forgotten.¹ The further back in time we go, the more we see the narrative of colonial, and frequently genocidal, regimes controlled...

  8. PART THREE Forgetting, Remembering, and Hidden Genocides

    • 7 The Great Lakes Genocides: Hidden Histories, Hidden Precedents
      (pp. 129-148)

      This chapter explores a range of hidden and little-known genocides in the modern history of the African Great Lakes region and the implications of incorporating them into our comparative understanding of genocide, both in a regional context and beyond it. These implications are at once conceptual/theoretical, pedagogical/practical, and moral/ethical. They touch upon central, sometimes incendiary debates in genocide studies and the wider public sphere. They also typify what genocide studies is partly about: the “salvaging” and comparative integration of genocides that have been ignored or effaced from the record, often because a reckoning with them would challenge the power of...

    • 8 Genocide and the Politics of Memory in Cambodia
      (pp. 149-169)

      When Cambodians talk about Democratic Kampuchea (DK), the genocidal period of Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia when up to two million of Cambodia’s eight million inhabitants perished from April 1975 to January 1979, they recall many paths of ruin, the memories breaking light into this time of shadows, when memory itself became a crime.

      Chlat, a low-ranking provincial government official who was a student prior to DK, recalled one such path: the death of his brother Sruon. Sharp and pensive, Chlat was one of those people who might have gone far if the trajectory of his life had not been...

    • 9 Constructing the “Armenian Genocide”: How Scholars Unremembered the Assyrian and Greek Genocides in the Ottoman Empire
      (pp. 170-192)

      This chapter critically examines the scholarly and political discourse since the 1960s on the Armenian genocide. This discourse represents not simply a forgetting or continued unawareness that there were Assyrian and Greek victims of the anti-Christian massacres of the late Ottoman Empire and early Turkish republic, but sometimes an active suppression of existing historical knowledge about Assyrian and Greek experiences. From the standpoint of critical genocide studies, the “Armenian genocide,” like the “Holocaust,” is the culmination of a long-term campaign to establish a binary racial conflict and the exclusivity of one group’s fate, a gross simplification of the broader understanding...

    • 10 “The Law Is Such as It Is”: Reparations, “Historical Reality,” and the Legal Order in the Czech Republic
      (pp. 193-208)

      In this chapter, I examine how reparations, a phenomenon often theorized as a liberal tool for victims of historical injustice to attain a voice and call to account the state that perpetrated the violence against them, can function to sublimate the very voices they solicit. Using ethnographic research undertaken in 2004–2005 in the Czech Republic,¹ I focus on the mechanisms through which such an elision of testimony by claimants took place within a Holocaust reparations program geared for Czech Roma, even as the program sought to solicit, and value, Romani testimony. I then turn to a series of Czech...

    (pp. 209-212)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 213-218)