University of Toronto Press issues new edition of Centuries of Genocide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Armenian National Institute (ANI) has announced the release by the University of Toronto Press of a new edition of Centuries of Genocide: Critical Essays and Eyewitness Accounts. Extensively updated, the publication, which has been in print for the past 30 years, has been a leading college textbook on the subject of genocide and human rights.

The new fifth edition overseen by Samuel Totten, professor emeritus of education at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, includes 15 chapters on genocide ranging from California’s Yana Indians, the Soviet manmade famine in Ukraine, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Rwanda, to Darfur, and more. Besides the introduction, Totten also contributes a chapter on the ISIS genocide of the Yazidis.

A chapter on the Armenian Genocide, authored by ANI director Dr. Rouben Adalian, has been included in every edition of the publication. The contextualization of the Armenian experience in relation to all the other significant examples of crimes against humanity gives a special depth to the significance of that historic catastrophe.

The essays in Centuries of Genocide are supplemented by accounts which provide vivid eyewitness testimony about each specific instance of genocide. The chapter on the Armenian Genocide is augmented with the testimony of four survivors: Helen Tatarian of Dertyol, Sarkis Agojian of Chemeshgadsak, Takhouhi Levonian of Keghi and Yevnig Adrouni of Hoghe.

“When it comes to concise and insightful overviews, several chapters in Centuries of Genocide are as good as any, and Dr. Adalian’s chapter on the Armenian Genocide is a prime example. This is why time and again, I have included earlier editions of the book among required and suggested readings in my teaching,” said Dr. Khatchig Mouradian, lecturer in Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University.

Originally issued under the editorship of William Parsons, Israel Charny and Samuel Totten, earlier editions of Centuries of Genocide were released by Routledge, a publishing firm that specializes in professional and academic books. The fifth edition issued by the University of Toronto Press was extensively revised and updated to current scholarship.

Besides Totten and Adalian, contributors to the publication include Benjamin Madley, Dominik J. Schaller, James Mace, Donald L. Niewyk, Rounaq Jahan, Craig Etcheson, Natasha Zaretsky, Susanne Jonas, Michiel Leezenberg, Gerald Caplan, Martin Mennecke and Ken MacLean, some of whose essays have been part of the publication since its initial issue.

As with previous editions, the chapters remain consistent in their format to allow for student understanding of this challenging subject. Authors address the same set of questions about each genocide: Who committed the genocide? How was the genocide committed? Why was the genocide committed? Who were the victims? What were the outstanding historical forces and trends at work that led to the genocide? What was the long-term impact of the genocide on the victim group?

Centuries of Genocide continues to expand upon the extensive list of instructional resources provided through the ANI website where over 200 multimedia, digital, interactive, and published resources can now be viewed.

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