"The Missing Picture":
Rethinking Genocide Studies & Prevention
14th Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
July 14 - 19, 2019, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
About The Conference
“The Missing Picture”: Rethinking Genocide Studies & Prevention
14-19 July 2019, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The field of genocide studies is flourishing. It is the focus of academic programs, a multitude of conferences and workshops, international diplomacy, research centers, public policy, and a rapidly growing and increasingly sophisticated body of scholarship, including field-specific book series, journals, readers, and textbooks. However, this remarkable growth has not been without its problems. Like all scholarly domains, genocide studies has been formed from particular disciplinary perspectives and traditions, resulting in a disproportionate focus on a small canon of cases as well as a predominance of literature marked by Western perspectives.
Taking place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the 2019 IAGS conference marks the association’s 25th anniversary and will be its first conference in Asia, extending efforts to diversify prevailing understandings of the experience of genocide, and the steps we can take to recover and learn from it. Following this mission, the conference theme is “‘The Missing Picture’: Rethinking Genocide Studies and Prevention.” Thus, under-researched genocides, comparative analyses, and critical and creative work intending to challenge or revisit current conceptions of genocide and genocide studies will be a focus of this year’s conference.
The 2019 IAGS conference will take place on the 40th anniversary of the fall of the Khmer Rouge in a locality that continues to grapple with atrocity crimes and their legacies. It is also scheduled to occur during the final years of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). Participants will therefore be exposed to a vibrant public culture that is contributing not just to academic work, but to related efforts at memorialization, education, prevention, peacebuilding, and transitional justice.
There will be a number of site-specific opportunities available to those attending the conference, including excursions to former prison sites, Khmer Rouge zones, and the ECCC, as well as a number of primary archives and research facilities, judicial reparation initiatives, and arts performances. For more information on Phnom Penh, click on the Experience Phnom Penh tab at the top of the page.
American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP) is a private, English language higher education institution in Cambodia. Since its founding in 2013, AUPP has offered high quality, American-style education, grounded in the culture of Cambodia and Asia, fostering socially responsible behavior, lifelong learning, and academic and professional excellence to produce critical thinkers, innovators, and ethical leaders who will make significant contributions to the world. To consolidate its vision as the leading academic center of excellence in Cambodia and Asia, AUPP introduced the dual degree program model in the summer of 2016 with its partner university in the USA, the University of Arizona (UA). This dual degree program is a U.S. accredited program whereby upon graduation the students obtain two degrees at the same time, one issued by AUPP and the other from UA.
In 2017, AUPP celebrated the opening of its new campus, a state-of-the-art facility accommodating up to 4,000 students. Featuring housing for students, sports centers, and many other facilities, AUPP is Cambodia’s most technically advanced and largest international standard university. We look forward to sharing our beautiful campus with IAGS conference participants.
Call for Papers
Deadline: 30 November 2018
Proposals are invited for papers broadly related to the theme of “Rethinking Genocide Studies and Prevention.” We welcome proposals for sessions and papers making use of alternative delivery formats, and most especially presentations that seek to break new ground on the widest possible variety of cases, concepts, theories, methods, practices, traditions, and topics relevant to the study of genocide, genocide education, and prevention. In addition to established scholars, submissions are being sought from emerging scholars as well as those working specifically in /on genocide in Southeast Asia. Presentations on under-researched genocides, comparative analyses, and critical and creative work intending to challenge or revise current conceptions of genocide and genocide studies are likewise particularly encouraged.
Although proposals concerned with any aspect of genocide are welcome, we especially encourage submissions on the following topics:
- New Directions in Genocide Studies and Prevention
- The Cambodian Genocide
- Genocide Education
- Genocide, Atrocity Crimes, and Human Rights
- Critical Genocide Studies
- Genocide, Aesthetics, and the Arts
- Sexualized Violence
- Memory and Transitional Justice
- Indigenous Perspectives
- Cultural Genocide and Heritage Practices
- Resistance and Responses to Genocide and Mass Atrocity
In addition to individual presentations, we are interested in receiving proposals for thematic panels normally comprised of no more than three people. Proposals for artistic or other kinds of installations, readings, public performances, screenings, workshops, and pop-up events will also be highly considered. Those thinking along these lines are strongly encouraged to contact the conference organizers (firstname.lastname@example.org) prior to submitting their proposals in order to obtain more information concerning what might be possible. No IAGS funding is available to support such initiatives and events, however deserving.
Proposals should be no more than 250 words long, and must include the presenter’s full name, affiliation, a brief biography (150 words), and an e-mail contact address. Text should be single-spaced and written in 12-point Times New Roman font. To facilitate review, all proposals should be saved and submitted as Word files. Panel proposals must include the relevant information for all participants.
Regardless of format, all conference presenters should plan to speak for a maximum of 20 minutes. Although multiple submissions are permitted, the organizers reserve the right to accept only one proposal.
All submissions must be received no later than midnight (EST), November 30, 2018
Questions may be addressed to the conference organizers at: email@example.com
Become a Member
All attendees of the conference must be members of International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS). Please join IAGS through link provided here.
Arriving to Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh International Airport is the main point of arrival for most traveling to Cambodia. Nonstop flights are offered on numerous carriers from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Qatar, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, along with frequent connections to Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, the two alternative airports in Cambodia. Click here for the full list of carriers flying in and out of Phnom Penh International Airport.
Numerous exchange booths and ATMs can be found outside the airport baggage claim and taxis and tuk tuk line up at all hours for hire just outside the lobby. Taxis typically cost $7.00-$10.00 for the 20-30 minute ride into the city center while the smaller and slower tuk tuk cost closer to $3.00-$5.00. Allow a minimum of 30-40 minutes to get to and from the airport in case of traffic.
A variety of bus companies also operate between Phnom Penh and Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, as well as other cities within Cambodia. If you are arriving to Phnom Penh by bus, look into acquiring a visa at an embassy in advance as some checkpoints along the border do not administer ones on-arrival. In addition, we do not recommend taking a night bus due to higher rates of reported accidents.
For almost all nationalities visiting Cambodia, one-month, single-entry tourist visas can be obtained on arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap international airports. Both require a passport valid for at least 6 months prior to its expiration date, a passport-sized photo, and cash payment in USD.
The nationals of Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam do not need a tourist visa and may stay for 21 to 30 days depending on the country.
Click here for the official website about visa information.
Cambodia uses two official currencies, the U.S. Dollar (USD) and the Cambodian Riel (KHR), but the USD is the main form of currency accepted everywhere. Instead of using coins for cents as in the United States, Riel act as “change” for units smaller than $1 USD. The exchange rate roughly equals $1 USD to 4,000 Riel, or 25 cents to 1,000 Riel, making transactions involving both currencies relatively straightforward. We recommend you bring sufficient USD prior to your arrival to avoid the use of ATMs although they are prevalent around the city should you need one. Some banks and grocery stores have the capacity to break $100 bills, but it is better to bring $20, $10, $5, and $1 bills to avoid the need altogether. Otherwise, Visa and MasterCard are accepted at larger hotels and some restaurants, but Cambodia is largely a cash economy.
Just outside of the airport baggage claim terminal, several carriers sell SIM cards with 4G data for only a few dollars. The Cambodian cell companies are: Cellcard, Metfone, Smart, qb, Beeline, CoolTel, and Excell. Most international visitors use either cellcard or smart, although they all work well in Phnom Penh. Once you choose a carrier, the employees at the stand will immediately set up your SIM card and data plan.
While you are traveling around Cambodia, be aware of petty theft. Always keep track of your bags and belongings – even when you are in a tuk tuk, personal items can be taken from you by passerby.
July is in the middle of Cambodia’s rainy season. Expect hot, humid days with one short, rainfall per day. – Bring a raincoat, a good pair of water-friendly shoes, and insect repellant for the rain-loving mosquitos. Umbrellas are virtually nonexistent throughout the country – we do not recommend you bring one.
The attire in Cambodia is rather modest compared to Western standards. While locals in Phnom Penh have grown accustomed to the dress of tourists, we recommend you bring appropriate clothing for events and sightseeing. Loose fitting or lightweight pants, skirts, blouses, and short-sleeved shirts are encouraged, but feel free to bring shorts to wear during your downtime and maybe even a swimsuit for your hotel pool. In order to see Cambodia’s sacred sites, such as wats (pagodas), the Royal Palace, and memorial sites like Tuol Sleng and Cheoung Ek, visitors will need tops that completely cover your shoulders and bottoms that go past your knees, otherwise you will be turned away.
Experience Phnom Penh
About Phnom Penh
While still a developing country, Cambodia has significantly grown its tourism and public infrastructure, making Phnom Penh a reasonably priced, hospitable, and safe tourist destination. Barely over a half-century ago, Phnom Penh was considered the “Pearl of Asia” to some and the “Paris of the East” to others, as the city itself was beautiful and bustling, and its architecture juxtaposed by timeless French colonial facades and stunningly ornate Buddhist wats. While war and revolution during the 2nd half of the 20th century did not spare Phnom Penh, the city has recently become a metropolis of food, culture, and nightlife shared by locals, backpackers, and its ever-growing expat scene. The development is fascinating to witness, albeit disconcerting at times, as the city and its people grapple with healing decade-old wounds, all while being thrust into a new, fast-paced era.
Top Things to See in Phnom Penh
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum is the memorial site of the S-21 interrogation and detention center of the Khmer Rouge regime. As the largest prison and torture center in the country, Tuol Sleng preserves an importance piece of this tragic period in Cambodian history and aims to encourage visitors to be messengers of peace. The museum displays rooms of victim’s photographs and equipment, while the necessary audio guide colors the conditions within the prison during the time of its operation and narrates the stories of some of the people displayed in the photographs. A harrowing but important stop during your visit to Phnom Penh, Tuol Sleng is one of the world’s more comprehensive displays of a country’s genocidal history, not only an infamous symbol of mass atrocity and anxiety, as its content has been produced with the help of the Documentation Center of Cambodia.
Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
Between 1975 and 1978 about 17,000 men, women, children and infants who had been detained and tortured at S-21 were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek. Today a peaceful memorial site with a recently constructed, grand Buddhist Stupa that houses more than 8000 skulls found on-site, Choeung Ek is an important site for those interested in the horrors of Khmer Rouge rule and the impact it had on victims and survivors of the regime. Located outside of the city center in Phnom Penh, be sure to budget in time for your visit and maybe hire a tuk tuk to wait for you outside the memorial grounds. Like Tuol Sleng, the audio guide is a necessary addition to your visit, as it includes stories by those who witnessed its activities as prisoners or guards and comprehensive explanations of the camp’s now-destroyed structures and their functioning.
Conveniently situated next to Himawari Hotel and Chaktomuk Theatre on Cambodia’s Riverside, the Royal Palace showcases the brilliance of classic Khmer roofs and ornate gilding scene common throughout Phnom Penh. As the official residence of King Sihamoni, only the throne hall and several buildings surrounding it are open to the public. Visitors must wear shorts that reach the knee and shirts that completely cover the shoulders, or else you will be refused entry. A tour is recommended in order to get the most out of the history and architecture around the palace compound.
Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo)
Adjacent to the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda, otherwise known as Wat Preah Keo or Temple of the Emerald Buddha, was originally constructed out of wood in 1892 by King Norodom before it was rebuilt in 1962 to display the brilliance and richness of Khmer civilization. While more than half of the pagoda’s contents were lost, stolen, or destroyed during the wars of the last few decades, the silver-tiled floors, bejewelled objects, and intricate examples of artisanship and craft continue to line the spectacular interior.
Also next to the Royal Palace in the Riverside area, the National Museum of Cambodia was built from 1917 and 1920 by the French and now houses dozens of traditional terracotta structures that make up the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. Aside from containing works from the Angkor era of the Khmer Empire (9th to 15th century C.E.), the museum also has pottery and bronze dating back to the 4th century under the Funan and Chenla periods. Set up around a gorgeous courtyard, the National Museum is worth a visit for anyone interested in Cambodia’s more ancient history.
Wat Phnom sits on a 27 meter-high hill – the only in Phnom Penh – and is the tallest religious structure in the city. The first pagoda on the site was said to be erected in 1373 to hold four statues of Buddha that had been shored by the waters of the Mekong and discovered by a woman named Penh.
The Thirteenth Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
9-13 July 2017, in Brisbane, Australia.
The Twelfth Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
8-12 July 2015, in Yerevan, Armenia
The Eleventh Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars
16-19 July, 2014, in Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada