genocide; mass killing; Armenia; Rwanda.
In 1943, Raphael Lemkin coined the term “genocide” to describe the horrific events of the holocaust. Soon after, world leaders gathered and famously proclaimed “Never again.” Since the 1940’s the leaders of these same nations have seen similar atrocities committed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Timor, and even today in Sudan, but taken little responsibility in aiding the victims of these unspeakable acts. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 has done little to encourage the neither prevention nor punishment of the crimes of genocide. Who will study and analyze the subject of genocide, the worst crimes against humanity? To solve problems that go against humanity, we must look to the studies within the Humanities themselves. It is in the study of history, philosophy and politics that the world can begin to assess and address the evils of genocide. The study of genocide has long been an important part of my life and education. My first political experience was a protest of the Indonesian occupation. As a Portuguese-American, I learned about the problems the Timorese were facing through leaders in my community. My current parish priest was a refugee during the genocide. During the summer of 2005 I worked as an intern at the Embassy of East Timor in Washington, D.C. with a resistance leader from Timor who sought refuge in Rhode Island. My experiences have only inspired me to further research the inhumanity of genocide. My research will address the responsibilities of academics in the fields of history, philosophy, and political science in the post-holocaust world. The brutality of genocide must be respectively studied or it can never be properly addressed