What should happen after a government’s violence against its citizens? Who should decide? The class will focus on specific case studies to explore three kinds of responses to government crimes against citizens: the policies of official forgetting (e.g., post-Franco Spain; Argentina); truth telling and reconciliation movements (e.g., post-apartheid South Africa; Australia); international prosecutions (e.g., Khmer Rouge in Cambodia); and reparations (e.g., Canada/First Nation Peoples; U.S. government/slavery). We will also explore responses from artists, filmmakers, theologians, psychologists, and survivors to understand the challenges and promise of transitional justice. Projects will include persuasive and analytical writing along with training for and practice of interviews, mediation, and mock trials.
This guide was created by Joanna Novice; updated by Laura Pearle in March 2022