CHESS Speaker Series calls upon Keene State professor to speak on genocide: Author and scholar visits Gannon with an important message


Ali Smith, Arts and Leisure Editor

Erie, Pa, March 21, 2023—Calling all political activists, history buffs and social change-makers- there is a great opportunity coming Gannon’s way.

Dr. James Waller, Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, is the next guest in the CHESS Speaker Series, where he plans to share his research on how ordinary people commit genocide and mass murder.

Dr. Waller is a social psychologist who serves as a Visiting Scholar at the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice for Queen’s University Belfast.

To add to his expertise and advocacy, Dr. Waller serves as Director of Academic Programs for the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities. This program is an international program dedicated to atrocity prevention.

He even has a book, amongst five others, written about how someone comes to committing genocide, which is titled Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, which has earned Dr. Waller recognition and awards.

In the novel, Dr. Waller analyzes nature vs. nurture factors which can lead an ordinary person to commit “extraordinary acts of evil,” as illustrated by the Oxford University Press.

Utilizing his research and studies, Dr. Waller takes a psychological stance on the most egregious acts of hate committed by one human onto another.

For a pre or post event read, Dr. Waller’s book can be purchased on Amazon or through Oxford University Press.

Other titles by Dr. Waller include Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide and A Troubled Sleep: Risk and Resilience in Contemporary Northern Ireland.

Dr. Waller will be speaking at Gannon Thursday in the Waldron Campus Center at 7 PM.