Peace scholar to offer Keim Lecture on predicting genocide and mass atrocities

Professor Ernesto Verdeja, of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame, presents the annual Keim Lecture at Eastern Mennonite University. His lecture begins at 5 p.m., on Friday, Jan. 24, in Strite Conference Room in the Campus Center. A reception will be at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Verdeja will speak about predicting genocide and mass atrocities.

Over the past 20 years, governments and international organizations have developed increasingly sophisticated early warning and risk assessment projects to anticipate, and thus prepare for, possible outbreaks of mass political violence. Verdeja will discuss the current state of these efforts, drawing on the work of scholars, governments, the United Nations, and his own work consulting on genocide prevention.

Professor Ji Eun Kim, who earned her doctorate at Notre Dame, worked with Verdeja on her dissertation and was a teaching assistant for his undergraduate courses.

The invitation also both honors the lecture’s namesake, Professor Albert N. Keim, a longtime history professor and academic dean at EMU, and celebrates the new political science major at EMU, she said. “The history department wished to bring a political scientist and a peace scholar this year.”

Verdeja is an associate professor of political science and peace studies in the Department of Political Science and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame. He has been the director of undergraduate peace studies at Notre Dame for the past eight years, and he is a recipient of the 2018 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award.

He also serves as the executive director of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, a non-profit organization founded in 1982 to promote research and policy analysis on the causes and prevention of genocide and political violence. He has served two terms on the board of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, a worldwide association devoted to the study and prevention of genocide and is currently on the United States Institute of Peace’s RESOLVE Research Advisory Group. He is the author of Unchopping a Tree: Reconciliation in the Aftermath of Political Violence and many other published works, and he has edited three volumes on genocide and peacebuilding.

More on the Keim Lecture Series

The Albert N. Keim Lecture Series honors the memory of Professor Albert N. Keim who has served as a history professor here for 35 years and was the academic dean from 1977 to 1984.

Learn more about past presenters, in this sampling:

2019: Federal public defender, immigrant rights attorney and playwright Kara Hartzler ’94 spoke on “Borders, Jails, and Long Drives in the Desert: 25 Years of Immigration Law in the Southwest.”

2017: Dr. Dongping Han, professor at Warren-Wilson College and a native of rural China, addressed “The Cultural Revolution: A Reinterpretation from Today’s China.”

2016: Artist/activist Mark Strandquist provided a lecture titled Performing Statistics: Connecting incarcerated youth, artists, and leading policy experts to challenge Virginia’s juvenile justice system.”

2015: Charles R. Epp, political scientist in the University of Kansas’s School of Public Affairs and Administration, presented “The Police and Racial Discrimination in America.”

2014: Vincent Harding, a pastor, activist and history professor who helped EMC professors initiate social change in Harrisonburg during the early 1960s, presented “Is America Possible?”