Alex Hinton: Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

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Audio File

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Speaker: Alex Hinton, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs, Rutgers University

During the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign in Cambodia (mid- to late-1970s), a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In the 2009 UN-backed Khmer Rouge Tribunal, the prosecution painted Duch as evil, while his lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. Hinton will discuss Duch’s trial and how it might help us reconsider Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil in terms of “the banality of everyday thought.”

Sponsored by Judith T. ’75 and Lawrence S. ’76 Bohn

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