Arts-Based Approaches to Mass Atrocity Education

  • Cary LaneEmail author


In this chapter, Dr. Cary Lane, faculty coordinator of the 2014–2015 NEH/KHC Colloquium Series, “Testimony Across the Disciplines: Cultural and Artistic Responses to Genocide,” reviews the pedagogical theories that led him, and other colleagues, to practice mass atrocity education through an arts lens. He explores foundational ideas in higher education; provides examples of arts-based/creative educational approaches to the study of genocide; and summarizes several large-scale, student-centered, arts-based, interdisciplinary pedagogy projects that integrated campus cultural resources for the purposes of genocide education. Dr. Lane demonstrates how creative approaches encourage understanding, synthesis, and response to genocide-related content; how art practice can—and should—be used as a research platform for topics of mass violence; and how campus cultural centers provide pivotal resources for researching and presenting arts-based deliverables.


  1. Anderson, Lorin W., David R. Krathwohl, and Benjamin Samuel Bloom. 2001. A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching, and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  2. Apol, Laura. 2017. Writing Poetry in Rwanda: A Means for Better Listening, Understanding, Processing, and Responding. Journal of Poetry Therapy 30 (2): 71–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Benson, Philippa J. 1997. Problems in Picturing Text: A Study of Visual/Verbal Problem Solving. Technical Communication Quarterly 6 (2): 141–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bishop, Marlon, and Tatiana Fernandez. 2017. 80 Years On, Dominicans and Haitians Revisit Painful Memories of Parsley Massacre. Nation Public Radio. Accessed 11 Mar 2018.
  5. Carey, S.J. 2012. From the Editor. Peer Review, 14 (3): 3. doi: 1243370533. Accessed 20 April 2017.Google Scholar
  6. Conway, Colleen, and Thomas M. Hodgman. 2008. College and Community Choir Member Experiences in a Collaborative Intergenerational Performance Project. Journal of Research in Music Education 56 (3): 220–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Damasio, A.R., and Stuart Sutherland. 1994. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. Nature 372, no. 6503: 287–287. New York: Putnam.Google Scholar
  8. Dewey, John. 1997. Experience and Education. New York: Touchstone. Original work published in 1938 by Kappa Delta Pi.Google Scholar
  9. Elkins, James, ed. 2009. Visual Literacy. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Freeman, Julie Dawn. 2006. Teaching the Holocaust: The Use of Graphic Imagery. International Journal of Learning, Vol. 12, No. 8, ISSN 14479494.Google Scholar
  11. Gardner, Howard. 1983. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 1999. Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  13. Goldstein, Thalia R., and Ellen Winner. 2012. Enhancing Empathy and Theory of Mind. Journal of Cognition and Development 13 (1): 19–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gorzycki, Meg. 2017. Student-Centered Teaching. The Center for Teaching and Faculty Development, San Francisco State University. Accessed 2 May 2017.
  15. Hodges, Donald A. 2010. Can Neuroscience Help Us Do a Better Job Teaching Music? General Music Today 23 (2): 3–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Howell, J.S. 2011. What Influences Students’ Need for Remediation in College? Evidence from California. Journal of Higher Education 82 (3): 292–318.Google Scholar
  17. Illeris, Knud. 2002. Three Dimensions of Learning. Roskilde, Denmark: Roskilde University.Google Scholar
  18. International Association of Genocide Scholars. 2017. Arts & Culture. Accessed 20 April 2017.
  19. Jacobs, Tom. 2012. Arts Involvement Narrows Students’ Achievement Gap. A New NEA Study Finds Disadvantaged Students Do Better Academically If They Are Intensely Involved in the Arts. Pacific Standard. 2012. Accessed 22 April 2017.
  20. Jarvis, Peter. 1995. Adult and Continuing Education: Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge/Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2011. Adult Learning in the Social Context. Vol. 78. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Johnson, Kelli Lyon. 2003. Both Sides of the Massacre: Collective Memory and Narrative on Hispaniola. Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature 36 (2): 74–91.Google Scholar
  23. Juslin, Patrik N., and John Sloboda. 2011. Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research, Applications. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kearney, Kerri S., Bernita Krumm, Robin Hughes, and James Satterfield. 2013. Organized for Genocide: Student Reactions and Learning From Use of Emotive Documentaries on the Holocaust. Journal of Management Education 37 (3): 342–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Knowles, Malcolm S. 1980. The Modern Practice of Adult Education: From Pedagogy to Andragogy. New York: Cambridge Books.Google Scholar
  26. Kollontai, Pauline. 2015. Emotional Intelligence in Higher Education: Using Art in a Philosophical Discussion on God, Evil and Suffering. Research in Education 93 (1): 66–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kuh, George D. 2008. High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities.Google Scholar
  28. Mamiseishvili, Ketevan, and Lynn C. Koch. 2012. Students with Disabilities at 2-year Institutions in the United States: Factors Related to Success. Community College Review 40 (4): 320–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. McNair, Tia Brown, and Susan Albertine. 2012. Seeking High-Quality, High-Impact Learning: The Imperative of Faculty Development and Curricular Intentionality. Peer Review 14 (3): 4.Google Scholar
  30. Mezirow, Jack. 1991. Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  31. National Conference of State Legislatures. 2017. Improving College Completion: Reforming Remedial Education. Accessed 29 April 2017.
  32. Newell, William H., and Raymond C. Miller. 1983. The Case for Interdisciplinary Studies: Response to Professor Benson’s Five Arguments. Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies.Google Scholar
  33. Perin, Dolores. 2011. Facilitating Student Learning through Contextualization: A Review of Evidence. Community College Review 39 (3): 268–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Piaget, Jean. 1972. Intellectual Evolution from Adolescence to Adulthood. Human Development 15 (1): 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reinhart, David. 2012. Teaching with High Impact within a Splintered Culture. Peer Review 14 (3): 22.Google Scholar
  36. Sinatra, Richard. 1983. Brain Research Sheds Light on Language Learning. Educational Leadership 40 (8): 9–12.Google Scholar
  37. Stokes, Suzanne. 2002. Visual Literacy in Teaching and Learning: A Literature Perspective. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education 1 (1): 10–19.Google Scholar
  38. Sullivan, Graeme. 2015. Art Practice as Research: Inquiry in the Visual Arts. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  39. Wlodkowski, Raymond J. 2008. Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn: A Comprehensive Guide for Teaching All Adults. 3rd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishQueensborough Community College, CUNYBaysideUSA

Personalised recommendations