MEDFORD, Mass.—On Wed., April 11, Tufts University, the Darakjian-Jafarian Chair in Armenian History, the department of history, and the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (supported by the Ethel Jafarian Duffet Fund) will sponsor the annual Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at Tufts. The Tufts event will feature a lecture by Prof. Ervin Staub entitled “Overcoming Evil: Preventing Genocide and Creating Peaceful Societies.” Staub will be introduced by Ina Baghdiantz McCabe, professor of history and Darakjian Jafarian Chair of Armenian History at Tufts.
The commemoration and lecture will take place at 7 p.m. in Goddard Chapel on Tufts’ Medford campus. A reception and book signing will follow in the Coolidge Room in nearby Ballou Hall.
Staub is professor emeritus and founding director of the doctoral program in the psychology of peace and violence at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford, and has taught at Harvard. He has studied the roots of altruism, the origins of genocide, violent conflict, and terrorism, and psychological recovery, and reconciliation. His books include the two-volume Positive Social Behavior and Morality; The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence; The Psychology of Good and Evil: Why Children, Adults, and Groups Help and Harm Others; and Overcoming Evil: Genocide, Violent Conflict and Terrorism (2011). A forthcoming book is The Roots of Goodness: The Development of Inclusive Caring, Moral Courage, Altruism Born of Suffering and Active Bystandership.
Staub is past president of the International Society for Political Psychology and of the Society for the Study of Peace, Conflict, and Violence. He has conducted many projects in field settings, from promoting altruism in children, to seminars/trainings and educational radio projects in Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo (to promote psychological recovery and reconciliation), to training active bystanders in schools (to prevent harmful behavior by students).
Overcoming Evil describes the origins or influences leading to genocide, violent conflict, and terrorism. It identifies principles and practices of prevention, and of reconciliation between groups after violence or before violence. The book emphasizes early prevention, when violence-generating conditions are present and a psychological and social evolution toward violence has begun, but there is not yet immediate danger of intense violence. It also describes the work of the author and his associates in real-world settings in Africa.
Staub’s work aims to promote knowledge, understanding, and “active bystandership” by leaders and government officials, members of the media, and citizens to prevent violence and create harmonious societies.