HIST3205 - Genocide, war and society


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Portfolio
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Portfolio 100/100

Course content

Based on a historical analysis of different genocides participants of the course will investigate the structures and preconditions that have led to genocide, the involvement of elites and ordinary people, as well as the role of the international community. By discussing whether the Holocaust occupies a unique position among genocides, we also address the limits and benefits of a comparative approach, as well as the problems associated with the use of the term genocide.

The focus is on the aftermath of genocide: the impact of genocides on societies, survivors and perpetrators; the important function of justice; the meaning of commemoration and acknowledgement; the issue of genocide denial and misuse of genocide for political means; representation and communication of the topic through the media.

Learning outcome

The candidate can expect to acquire the following knowledge and skills from the successful completion of the course:


  • compare events, preconditions and motivations that resulted in genocides in different parts of the world at different times, identify similarities and differences and thereby formulate "warning signs" of genocides
  • explain legal concepts important in genocide studies, such as "genocide" and "crimes against humanity", and assess the usefulness and the limitations of the terms in legal practice and in scholarship
  • obtain detailed knowledge of the implementation of selected genocides and be able to identify and reflect critically upon the categories of "victim" and "perpetrator"
  • give different examples of how perpetrator societies have tried to come to terms with the experience of genocide and assess how these attempts have fostered or undermined social peace


  • formulate research questions and identify sources and concepts relevant to answer it
  • undertake a critical and independent analysis of written and visual sources
  • summarise, evaluate and communicate both orally and in writing a complex topic to a wider audience

Learning methods and activities

Seminar based on discussion of assigned texts and group work. Students have to read and prepare about 1-2 articles/chapter each week.

Compulsory assignments

  • Obligatory attendance
  • Oral grouppresentation

Further on evaluation

The compulsory assignments take the form of obligatory attendance and an oral group presentation on a given topic during the workshop. The student has to pass the obligatory assignment in order to be allowed to submit the portfolio assessment. The assessment takes the form of a portfolio assessment. Note that the portfolio assessment comes in addition to the compulsory assignment. The portfolio comprises the following three elements which are the basis for the assessment: 1) written term paper on topic presented in the workshop (2000-3000 words) (counts 40%); 2) essay on a given topic, either written (1000-1500 words) or delivered in video format or similar (counts 30%); 3) weekly group blogs (about 7, 300-700 words each) which briefly reflect on the questions discussed in the seminar. Blogs have to published on the internet each week (counts 30%).

The submissions will receive an overall grade. All three submissions will have to receive a pass grade for the whole of the portfolio to receive a pass grade.

In semesters when the course is not taught, NTNU will not be offering a resit examination.

Required previous knowledge

BA in history or equivalent.

Course materials

Reading list, online compendium and additional materials will be published on Blackboard at the beginning of the semester.

More on the course

Version: 1
Credits:  7.5 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • European Studies
  • Philosophy
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Comparative Religion
  • Political Science
Contact information
Course coordinator: Lecturer(s):

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Modern History and Society


Examination arrangement: Portfolio

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Portfolio 100/100



Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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