TORONTO, CANADA — Prof. Joyce Apsel has been appointed Course Director of the Genocide and Human Rights University Program (“GHRUP”) by the Program Development Committee. The program is held annually in partnership by the International Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies (“IIGHRS”) (A Division of the Zoryan Institute) and the University of Toronto. Greg Sarkissian, President of the Academic Board of the IIGHRS and Director of the Program made the announcement, explaining, “Dr. Apsel is a distinguished scholar, a Master Teacher, and brings tremendous experience to overseeing the implementation of the course in the classroom. Students have described her with such comments as, ‘Prof. Apsel was wonderful,’ and ‘Apsel was an excellent professor.’ I heartily agree.”
Joyce Apsel teaches Humanities in the Liberal Studies Program of the College of Arts & Sciences at New York University, where she has taught a series of seminars on Genocide and Human Rights over the last decade. She is a recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award (2008-2009). She is currently President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide and a past president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. She is also director of RightsWorks International, established in 1999 to promote peace, human rights and genocide education around the world.
In reflecting on her new role, Prof. Apsel said, “For the past ten years, Roger Smith has served as a model teacher, Director of the GHRUP and on-site summer course director. Hence, with my appointment as Course Director of the 2012 GHRUP, I plan to build on his example and foundation by continuing his engaged pedagogy, weaving together disparate themes and case studies, as well as integrating guest lecturers and students to create a meaningful dialogue and learning environment. For the last eight years, I have participated in the GHRUP summer program as a specialist teaching sections about the history and complexity of human rights and humanitarianism and links with genocide, as well as an earlier module on teaching about genocide.
“The program provides a unique curriculum opportunity for students and reflects the continuing need to write into the curriculum events that have all too long been ignored or diminished and still may be denied. In this respect, study of the Armenian Genocide and its denial provides a powerful example. As new archives open up world-wide and new research is carried out, careful examination of issues of genocide and human rights provides a crucial lens to understand mass atrocities and to develop strategies toward prevention and rebuilding communities in the aftermath of severe human rights violations. I am pleased to have the opportunity to be on-site course director of the 2012 GHRUP summer program and welcome students of different backgrounds, training and voices to apply and become part of this unique learning experience.
The Genocide and Human Rights University Program reflects my own commitment to the importance of education and research on these important themes.”
The GHRUP combines theory with a look at specific case studies and explores major themes, allowing students to not only learn about the intricacies of genocide studies, but also to begin recognizing patterns as preventable stages of genocide. The comparative nature of the program encourages students to draw their own parallels between the various cases and fosters stimulating classroom discussion.