This lecture and discussion course examines some of the most unspeakable crimes and greatest tragedies of late modernity. It focuses primarily on the emergence and varieties of mass death experience, the perpetrators and victims of genocidal killing, and the ideologies and cultural movements that authorized exterminatory violence. Case studies include the Armenian genocide of 1915-16, the systematic slaughter of European Jewry during World War II, and the institutionalization of murder in the Soviet Union. Genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda and “ethnic cleansing” in the former Yugoslavia and Sudan will also be considered. Units at the end of the course address the conceptual and moral problems posed by these events.