HGHR Center Hosts April 13-14 International Conference on Genocide Denial

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Over the weekend of April 13-14, our Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Studies will host its first in a series of international conferences, “Denial: The Final Stage of Genocide.” The conference, held at UNC Charlotte’s Center City, brings together scholars, activists, educators, and students to discuss origins, significance, and potential responses to official and popular genocide denial throughout the world. Given the contemporary rhetoric of “fake news” and the increasing avenues for almost anyone to share or promote stories without factual underpinning, the need to confront genocide denial is more urgent than ever.

“When we announced this conference last summer,” said John Cox, Director of the Center for HGHR Studies, “we sought to make it ‘international’ and to attract proposals that go far beyond the most well-known examples of denial,” the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. “But we could not have imagined how successful we would be.” 

The conference has attracted scholars and activists from around the world. Speakers from more than a dozen countries, from Guatemala to Brazil to Nigeria, and from Bosnia to Armenia and Kurdistan to India, will speak on a wide array of topics, including:  

  • Use of denialist strategies by contemporary political movements
  • Effects of denial upon survivor groups and/or upon perpetrator societies
  • Feminist perspectives and gendered analyses in relation to denial
  • Denial or other forms of falsification in relation to indigenous peoples’ experiences
  • Minimization or erasure of racist and colonial histories in Europe, the United States, or elsewhere
  • Appropriation and/or exploitation of the Holocaust and or other genocides
  • Art, literature, and film confronting (or promoting) denial

The conference’s keynote speaker will be Lerna  Ekmekçioğlu, hIstorian of the Modern Middle East at MIT and author of Recovering Armenia: The Limits of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey (Stanford University Press, 2016). 

Henry C. Theriault, Ph.D., President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, will deliver a closing keynote address, "Is Denial Truly the Final Stage? Consolidation and the Metaphysical Dimensions of Denial."

All sessions are free and open to the public. No registration or RSVP required.

More information, and the full program: https://globalstudiesuncc.edu/center-holocaust-genocide-human-rights-studies/2019-conference-genocide-denial

The conference is supported by the UNC Charlotte Chancellor's Diversity Challenge Fund, the College of Liberal Arts + Sciences, and the Department of Global Studies, as well as the Center for Professional and Applied Ethics and others.