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Genocide Research Group


Founded by Ian Biddle and Beate Müller, the Genocide Research Group is made up of scholars based mostly, but not exclusively, at Newcastle University, working on genocide and genocide-related topics. The group also includes members from Northumbria, Sunderland and Durham Universities. Among its associate members it counts participants from Poland, Germany, Spain, Austria, the US, Ireland, Lithuania and Russia.

Key research questions

In its research, the group is interested in addressing the following key research questions:

  • What are the political, historical and social contexts in which genocide(s) occur?
  • What is the legacy of genocide (psychology, memory, culture, representation, mediation)?
  • What are the legal and political discourses surrounding genocide (justification, legitimacy, illegitimacy, condemnation, silence, response of the international community)?
  • What is the role of language and translation for the representation, mediation, publication and circulation of information about genocide?
  • How is genocide enacted and carried out? By whom and why?
  • Which groups in society tend to be most affected by genocide (gender, age, social and professional background, regional factors, language issues, ethnic identities)?
  • What – if any – is the connection between modernity and genocide?
  • How and to what extent can different genocides be compared with each other?
  • What philosophical approaches can help explain genocide(s)?
  • How are histories of genocide used in the aftermath of genocide? How are discourses and experiences of genocide utilized for identity creation?
  • How is genocide represented in cultural artefacts (literature, film, art, music)?
  • In which genres and through which channels is genocide represented? And how so?

Ian Biddle’s interest in this topic stems from his recent work on music and trauma, the soundscapes of trauma, and music in the Holocaust, dealing especially in Yiddish - and German-language sources. Read more about Ian's research

In November 2013, the Group hosted a one-day conference, Genocide Studies: Sound, Image, Archive, sponsored by the School of Arts and Cultures and the School of Modern Languages. Read the full report on the conference

Forthcoming projects

Forthcoming projects of the group include special journal edition on Genocide and Mediation, an interdisciplinary summer school on Genocide Studies in 2015, and co-hosted events with the Newcastle University’s research group The Cultural Significance of Space and Place.