Genocide is focus of two WSU lectures

Two lectures at WSU will focus on the issue of genocide, the planned extermination of an entire ethnic or political group, on April 12 and 13.

In a public event sponsored by the Department of History, Zeljka Vidic will share her personal story of war and fear Wednesday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium.

Vidic, a doctoral student at the University of Idaho, experienced the Balkan wars of the 1990s, which killed more than 200,000 people and created some 2 million refugees. Vidic was 12 years old in 1991 when the war came to her hometown of Vukovar, Croatia. She will talk about what it was like to survive the destruction of her community and the long-term separation of her family, and how her own experience illuminates the origins, nature and consequences of genocide.

Thursday, April 13, at 7 p.m. in CUE 203, the genocide lecture focuses on the communist Khmer Rouge, which, between 1975 and 1979, killed 1.7 million Cambodians, more than 20 percent of the entire population.

Guest speaker Chanrithy Him lost both parents and several siblings to the executions, forced labor, starvation and sickness of the “killing fields” before immigrating to the United States. She now lives in Portland, Oregon, and works on issues of posttraumatic stress disorder among the Khmer diaspora. Ms. Him will speak about her experiences from the genocide, published in her prize-winning book “When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up under the Khmer Rouge” (Norton, 2000).

Him’s lecture is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Department of History, Honors College, Foley Institute, Department of Political Science, Asia Program, Department of Women’s Studies and the WSU Asian American Pacific Islander Faculty and Staff Association.