Zoryan hosts its 20th annual genocide and human rights university program

TORONTO—This year, the Zoryan Institute marked the 20th anniversary of its annual Genocide and Human Rights University Program (GHRUP) by bringing together a dedicated and inspiring group of 13 students and 16 faculty members from around the globe to study select cases of genocide and important themes about human rights and genocide studies.

This is the second year in a row that the program is hosted virtually over Zoom and, according to the Institute, GHRUP’s most diverse cohort of students to date, in terms of disciplinary and cultural backgrounds and the geographical location from which students were joining the lectures.

“The diversity of student voices, together with their engaged participation, was a great strength of the program, enriching mutual learning opportunities, the interdisciplinary and comparative nature of the program, and bringing a range of perspectives to the dialogue that took place over the two weeks,” the Zoryan Institute said in a press release.  

According to Zoryan, following the completion of the program, all the participants prepare a presentation for their class, combining their research interests with key themes, concepts, and ideas introduced by the faculty and their peers throughout the course. “The diversity of students’ interests and backgrounds was reflected in the range of topics that were covered in these final presentations, including the exploration of identity and education as factors contributing to genocide and other atrocities, legal dilemmas, memory, commemoration, and recognition, and the range of perpetrators in genocidal processes,” read part of the release.

presentation topics included an analysis of lieux de mémoire (site of memory; memory space) in the Armenian case; forced sterilization and the role of the medical profession in the genocide of Indigenous Peoples in Canada; the possibility of prosecuting those who deny genocide under criminal law; and intersections between security management and the demonization of Fulani identity in Nigeria.

This year’s program concluded with a graduation ceremony, during which students’ achievements were celebrated, accompanied by remarks from GHRUP Course Director, Prof. Joyce Apsel, Zoryan Institute Deputy Executive Director Megan Reid, program faculty, supporters, donors, and students.

In their release, the Institute’s board of directors, staff, and volunteers expressed gratitude to their donors for their contributions. “We are already looking forward to next year when we hope we can welcome GHRUP students and faculty back to an in-person program at the University of Toronto,” the release read.

First established in Massachusetts in 1982 and incorporated in Toronto in 1984, the Zoryan Institute is a non-profit organization that serves the cause of scholarship and public awareness relating to universal human rights, genocide, and diaspora-homeland relations.

Those interested in supporting the GHRUP by sponsoring a module or offering a scholarship opportunity to a deserving student, please visit https://zoryaninstitute.org/donate.