Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Geography Holocaust Ph.D. track - Clark University

Ph.D. in Geography and Genocide

Above: Auschwitz-Birkenau under construction, 1943–1944. Realizing Birkenau was a vast construction site helps explain why escapes peaked during this period. Map by Chester Harvey and Paul Jaskot.

The Graduate School of Geography and the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies invite applications to a new doctoral track in Geography and Genocide. Combining the research tools and methods of geography and history to investigate past and contemporary cases of mass violence and genocide, the program will be genuinely interdisciplinary. Students working at the intersection of geography and genocide will consider the landscapes and spatial dynamics of genocide and mass violence, including theorizations and visualization of space and place, population analyses, and resource distribution.

Training for this interdisciplinary degree will include studying the questions, skills, and methods of history and geography, while focusing on holocaust studies or comparative genocide. Using the lenses of space and place, students might, for instance, choose to map the spatial dimensions of mass violence, apply geo-technologies to recover new evidence about historic events, draw on primary sources to recreate landscapes virtually, or study how climate change and conflicts over resource access may propel violence. Students so trained will focus on diverse cases including the Holocaust; the Armenian, Cambodian, Rwandan, or Native American genocides; and historic and present-day cases of mass violence in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. They will be prepared to push the boundaries of knowledge as scholars, to educate the public about threats of impending violence, and to intervene in such cases on the basis of well-researched evidence.

Prospective students may apply for the joint degree through the Geography or HGS application page. Potential candidates will be reviewed by both departments according to their admissions criteria and acceptance will depend upon mutual agreement.


Apply to the Doctoral Program »


The requirements of the degree will differ slightly depending on the primary department affiliation, as detailed below:

Cross-disciplinary history degree:

  • 4 courses in history; 4 in geography; 4 electives
  • 1 language; 1 geography skill
  • Dissertation committee members: 1 Center; 1 Geography; 1 outside

Cross-disciplinary geography degree:

  • 4 seminars in geography (of which 2 are required); 4 in history; 4 electives
  • 1 language; 1 geography skill
  • Dissertation committee members: 3 Geography; 1 Center