The Holocaust and other genocides are studied to enhance our understanding of the society from which we came, the society in which we live, and the society to which we currently are giving shape. By studying the Holocaust and genocide, we learn about collusion and resistance; about the hot violence of mass murder and the cold violence of the modern, bureaucratic machinery of death; and about suffering and adaptation to suffering. We learn how societies disintegrated, step by step, and how ordinary men, women, and children both participated in and were affected by this disintegration. We learn, in short, a tremendous amount about what we need to know now to help us make the world a better place, wherever we might be.
The undergraduate concentration in Holocaust and Genocide Studies provides students with solid grounding in the history of the Holocaust and other genocides. Students also take a series of courses in a variety of disciplines to ensure a critical and sophisticated understanding of the various facets of these atrocities. The undergraduate program of study encompasses history, sociology, government, geography, international development, psychology and literature.