In the twentieth century, 40 to 60 million defenseless people were massacred in episodes of genocide. The 21st century is not faring much better, with mass murder ongoing e.g. in Myanmar and Syria. Many of these cases have been studied well, both in detailed case studies and in comparative perspectives, but studying mass murder is no picnic. Scholars have also examined how conducting research, including ethnographic fieldwork, archival investigation, and oral history interviews, can affect the researcher in profound ways. Among a broader set of difficulties that obstruct research on this wretched subject, two stand out in particular: political constraints and psychological attrition. For full story click here.
There are firsthand accounts included in a project called “Survivors of Genocide” by Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History (IOH). Researchers with the institute have created an online exhibit, conducting extensive interviews in the homes of 14 people who faced atrocities in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur and Burundi but managed to escape and immigrate to the United States. For full story with links to website and interviews, click here.