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Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Global Human Rights History
453 Hamilton Hall
(919) 962-2115
Curriculum Vitae
Personal Website


BA, University of Queensland, 1987
MPhil, University of St. Andrews, 1990
MA, University of Notre Dame, 1994
PhD, University of California, Berkeley, 2000

Research Interests

Dirk is a historian of global human rights history, particularly in relation to genocide, memory, and intellectual history. While completing his first book, German Intellectuals and the Nazi Past (2007), he edited three anthologies on genocide and colonialism: Genocide and Settler Society: Frontier Violence and Stolen Indigenous Children (2004), Colonialism and Genocide (2007), and Empire, Colony Genocide: Conquest, Occupation and Subaltern Resistance in World History (2008). Since then, he has been researching postcolonial conflict in Africa and South Asia for his project on the “Diplomacy of Genocide.” His investigation of the origins and function of the genocide concept appears in his second monograph, The Problems of Genocide (2021). Dirk is also working on a book called “Genocide and the Terror of History” about traumatic memory and the constitution of genocidal subjectivities. In his spare time, he edits the Journal of Genocide Research.

Recent Public Engagements

"Who Counts as a Victim?" Aeon, May 10, 2021

Some Notable Publications

  • The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (Cambridge University Press, 2021)
  • Decolonization, Self-Determination, and the Rise of Global Human Rights Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2020). Edited with Roland Burke and Marco Duranti
  • The Holocaust in Greece (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Edited with Giorgos Antoniou
  • Postcolonial Conflict and the Question of Genocide: The Nigeria-Biafra War, 1967–1970 (Routledge, 2018). Edited with Lasse Heerten
  • Colonial Counterinsurgency and Mass Violence: The Dutch Empire in Indonesia (Routledge, 2014). Edited with Bart Luttikhuis
  • Courses Taught (as schedule allows)

    For current information about course offerings, click here.

    HIST 508.001: Europe and Humanitarian Aid
    HIST 178h.002: Liberalism, Socialism and Fascism in Europe
    HIST 152: European History since 1650
    HIST 466: Modern European Intellectual History