The lecture will explore some of the conceptual problems that are involved in writing a world history of genocide. The question posed is really a rhetorical one: genocide has occurred in every period of human history and in a wide variety of geographical and cultural circumstances. This seems to be increasingly accepted by genocide scholars, if not necessarily by scholars who are focused on temporal and spatial boundaries of their discipline. The second part of the lecture examines some of the recurring themes that occur in the history of genocide: genocide and war; dehumanization; “cumulative radicalization;” issues of gender, among others.

Norman M. Naimark received his A.B., M.A. and Ph.D (1972) from Stanford University. He spent fifteen years as Professor at Boston University and Research Fellow at the Russian Research Center at Harvard before returning to Stanford in 1988. He is presently Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies in the History Department at Stanford University, and is Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Freeman-Spogli Institute.

He also served as Sakurako and William Fisher Director of Stanford’s Global Studies Division. Earlier he was Chair of the Department of History and Burke Family Director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program. He also directed the International Relations and International Policy Studies Programs. A selection of his books include Terrorists and Social Democrats: The Russian Revolutionary Movement under Alexander III (Harvard 1981); The Russians in

Germany: A History of the Soviet Zone of Germany (Harvard 1995); Fires of Hatred; Ethnic Cleansing in 20 th Century Europe (Harvard 2001); Stalin’s Genocides (Princeton 2010); and Genocide: A World History (Oxford 2017).

He is presently finishing a book project, “Stalin and Europe: The Struggle for Sovereignty, 1944-1949.”  Naimark has been awarded the Officer’s Cross First Class of the German Federal Republic. He twice received the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at Stanford. He won the Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Slavic, East European and Eurasian Studies from ASEEES (the Association of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies).

He was recently elected as a member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.