In this project, I define genocide not as simply mass killing, but as the social destruction or deconstruction of a racialized group—not only racially targeted violence against individuals, but comprehensive cultural and structural damage to the group’s way of life. As such, this project studies genocide as a complex, unfolding process that obliterates or radically transforms the collective representations and institutions at the core of a marginalized group’s social order.
Using Darfur’s genocide as a case study, this project argues that genocide manifests not only through immediate killings of targeted minorities but also through other, systematic forms of violence that threaten or undermine the group’s existence: racial epithets, rape, mass displacement, attacks on food or water, and arson. Then, using mixed methods, it shows how genocide manifests in more nuanced ways than many other models of predict: not through each gender’s own experiences but through collective experiences of one another’s racialized victimization. For Darfuri black Africans, genocidal destruction is more likely when women experience killing and men experience rape—violence from which they are respectively shielded in normal life and that therefore symbolizes radical disruption. To impact collective representations and institutions, genocide must manifest as violence that is targeted intersectionally, intersectionally experienced, and communicated among a racialized group to create shared meanings of social destruction.
Forms of Genocidal Destruction: A Response to Commentators (with John Hagan)