Holocaust and Genocide Studies Minor (HGST)

HGST Minor Students

The Holocaust and Genocide Studies program offers courses from six different disciplines, two colleges and combines historical understanding with a cross-disciplinary exploration of both the Holocaust and genocide. It prepares students to be successful and engaged members of society and will enable them to learn the tools needed to work in and across disciplines to identify and creatively solve key societal problems, both local and global.

Sandra Alfers

Director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity.

“Western is the first public university in the state with a minor in Holocaust and Genocide Studies,” says Sandra Alfers, Director of the Ray Wolpow Institute for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity. “It is another major accomplishment for us. Western is clearly starting to address state needs, particularly in light of the recently amended Washington State Senate Bill 5612, which strengthens Holocaust Education in Washington schools, including the teaching of genocide and crimes against humanity.”

Program Information

Visit Western's Catalog page on Holocaust and Genocide Studies Minor for current course requirements and electives.

We encourage our students to regularly check Western's Covid Recovery Status website for updates regarding remote learning during COVID-19.

How to Declare a Minor

There are no prerequisites for declaring the HGST Minor.

Fill out the Minor Declaration e-form and send it to akinrib@wwu.edu.

Summer 2023

FAIR 334S/INTL 338: Holocaust Film

June 20-July 28, 2023

Monday, Wednesday & Fridays
10 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. (Face-to-face)

Prerequisites not enforced summer quarter, open to all

This course focuses on cinematic treatments of the Holocaust and the role of films in shaping public awareness of the Holocaust.

Target Audience: All

Fairhaven Students: Course meets Fairhaven College's upper-division core credits.
All: Meets requirements for the Film Studies Minor, the HGST minor, Human Rights Minor, and the INTL Minor

Class Format: Face-to-face; independent film viewing using class hours

Grading: S/NS & Narrative Assessments (FAIR), Rank Grading (INTL)

For more information contact akinrib@wwu.edu or 360.650.2893

Historical buildings

Films Included:

  • Night and Fog (1955)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
  • The Pawnbroker (1965)
  • Sophie's Choice (1982)
  • Shoah (1985)
  • Schindler's List (1993)
  • Life is Beautiful  (1997)
  • The Grey Zone (2001)
  • The Pianist (2003)


Fall Course Schedule 2023

Fall Course Information
Instructor Subject/Course CRN Title Days Class Time
Babafemi Akinrinade  FAIR 334C 42359 International Human Rights MW 3-5:10 p.m.
Chris Friday HIST 275 42387 The Indian in American History MWF 10-11:20 a.m.
Chris Friday HIST 392 43925 Tribal Sov & WA Hist MWF 2:30-3:50 p.m.
Roger R. Thompson HIST 408 43105 World War II: The European War TR 12-1:50 p.m.


Winter Course Schedule 2024

Winter 2024 Course Information
Instructor Subject/Course CRN Course Title Days Class Time
Kathleen Young ANTH 456 13840 War and Human Rights TR 3.00-4:50 pm
Babafemi Akinrinade 
  • FAIR 334K
  • INTL 335
  • 13945
  • 03942
Human Trafficking & Smuggling MW 11:00 am-1:20 pm
Babafemi Akinrinade 
  • FAIR 334L
  • HGST 301
  • INTL 336
  • 12967
  • 12709
  • 13943
The Holocaust MW 3:00 -5:20 pm
Susan Costanzo HIST 364 13702 Russian WW2 Films TR 12:00-1:50 pm
Dan Chard HIST 390 13707 US & International Terrorism MWF 1:00-2:20 pm

Spring Course Schedule 2024

Spring Course Information
Instructor Subject/Course CRN Title Days Class Time
Dan Chard  HIST 390 23484 US & International Terrorism MW 1-2:20 pm
Rachel Ann Anderson Paul PLSC 385/HGST 302 22411 Genocide and Global Politics/Topics in Genocide Studies TR 2-3:50 pm

Advising Appointments

Until further notice, all advising appointments will be held via Zoom or Teams. To schedule a virtual advising appointment see below:

Advising Links
Advisors Contact Information
Prof. Babafemi Akinrinade


Prof. Sandra Alfers Email for Appointment


Advisors are available to assist you with questions about the content of the minor and course planning/sequencing.

Graduation Procedure for Minor Evaluations

Please contact Prof. Akinrinade for a minor evaluation two quarters prior to graduation. Provide your name and W# with your request and within 2-3 weeks, you will be contacted with your complete evaluation.


Sandra Alfers

Professor of German
MH 215E & WL 571

Rachel Anderson Paul

Visiting Assistant Professor
AH 413

Sarah Zarrow

Associate Professor, Endowed Chair of Jewish History
BH 352