Joyce Apsel


Clinical Professor of Liberal Studies

Ph.D., University of Rochester J.D., Rutgers Law School

Areas of Interest: Comparative Genocide; Human Rights and Humanitarianism; Children’s Rights, and Education

Course(s) Taught: Social Foundations I, II, & III; Comparative Genocide, Human Rights; Internship Seminar; Global Topics: Human Rights, Health & the Environment; GLS: Senior Colloquium & Thesis; Re-Thinking Human Rights and the Millenium Goals


    NYU Teaching Initiative
    NYU LSP Faculty Research Award
    NYU Distinguished Teaching Award
    NYU Humanities Initiative, Team Teaching Grant
    Ida E. King Chair in Holocaust & Genocide, Stockton College
    Visiting Scholar, H-L Senteret and Visiting Professor, University of Oslo, Norway
    Summer NEH Fellowships, University of Hawaii and Boston University

Teaching Statement: I teach in a unique learning environment where students explore and debate the ideas in great works from different societies and cultures including the Bible and Qur’an to Plato, Confucius and Machiavelli. Based on my research interests in comparative genocide and human rights, I teach seminars in the Politics, Rights and Development Concentration. Course subjects taught include: Human Rights, Cultures of Peace and Terror, Societies at Risk, the Politics of Mass Hate and Genocide and Challenges of Humanitarianism, and Global Citizenship. Together, in small classes, we read about and debate the history and politics of just and unjust wars, the role of non-governmental organizations and the complex challenges of addressing current mass violence from Chechnya to Darfur. Students have the opportunity to research their own interests; and some recent student projects include: Child Soldiers, HIV/AIDs and the Globalization of Drugs, Photography and Atrocity, and Female Slave Trafficking in Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. Beside encouraging students to attend lectures on human rights issues at NYU; there are class visits to the United Nations and other sites in New York City. As President of the Institute for Study of Genocide and Director of RightsWorks International, a human rights education initiative, I also introduce students to human rights projects and speakers. My goal is to explore diverse perspectives and critical analyses that facilitate each student finding his/her own voice and becoming informed, engaged, members of civil society and the global community.


  • Introducing Peace Museums (2016) London: Routledge.
  • Genocide Matters: Ongoing Issues and Emerging Perspectives (2013) edited with Ernesto Verdeja, London: Routledge.

  • Museums for Peace: Transforming Cultures (2012) edited with Clive Barrett, The Hague: INMP.

  • “The Complexity of Genocide in Darfur: Historical Perspective and Ongoing Processes of Destruction“ (2009) Human Rights Review; 2010 Outstanding Article Award, War, Peace & Conflict Section, American Sociological Association.

  • Museums for Peace: Past, Present and Future (2008) edited with Ikuro Anzai and Sikander Mehdi, Kyoto: International Network of Museums for Peace.

  • “On Our Watch: The Genocide Convention and the Deadly, Ongoing Case of Darfur and Sudan” Rutgers Law Review 61:1 Fall 2008: 54-74.

  • Darfur: Genocide Before Our Eyes, ed. (2007) 3rd rev. ed. Institute for Study of Genocide.

  • "The Challenges of Human Rights Education and the Impact on Children’s Rights” (2005) in Ensalco and Maja, eds. Children’s Human Rights, Routledge: 229-246.

  • Teaching about Human Rights, ed. (2005) American Sociological Association.

  • “Moral Dilemmas and Pedagogical Challenges in Teaching about Genocide”, Human Rights Review 5:4 2004: 104-129.

  • Teaching about Genocide, (2002) ed. with Helen Fein, 3rd rev. ed. American Sociological Association.

Updated on 11/08/2016