Alex Hinton

Alex Hinton


ahinton [at]



Office Location

Hill Hall 627

Alexander Hinton is Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights and Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs at Rutgers University, Newark. He is also the immediate past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2011-13) and holds the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention (read more)

Research interests: Sociocultural and psychological anthropology; genocide and political violence; transitional justice and human rights; Southeast Asia (with a focus on Cambodia); culture and mind; globalization and modernity; self and emotion; anthropology and critical theory.

Courses Taught

Social Suffering and Humanitarianism
Seminar in Anthropology
Culture, Political Violence, and Genocide
Culture and Globalization
Human Rights in a Global World
Anthropology of Power
Global Justice

Research Initiatives

Alexander Hinton is Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights and Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs at Rutgers University, Newark. He is also the immediate past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2011-13) and holds the UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention

He is the author of the award-winning Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide (California, 2005) and seven edited or co-edited collections, Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory (Rutgers, 2014), Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence (Rutgers, 2010), Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation (Duke, 2009), Night of the Khmer Rouge: Genocide and Democracy in Cambodia (Paul Robeson Gallery, 2007), Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide (California, 2002), Genocide: An Anthropological Reader (Blackwell, 2002), and Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions (Cambridge, 1999). He is currently working on several other book projects, including a co-edited volume on the legacies of mass violence and a book on the Khmer Rouge tribunal. He serves as an Academic Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia, on the International Advisory Boards of the Journal of Genocide Research and Genocide Studies and Prevention, as co-editor of the CGHR-Rutgers University Press book series, "Genocide, Political Violence, Human Rights."

In 2009, Alex Hinton received the Robert B. Textor and Family Prize for Excellence in Anticipatory Anthropology "for his groundbreaking 2005 ethnography Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide, for path-breaking work in the anthropology of genocide, and for developing a distinctively anthropological approach to genocide." Professor Hinton was a Member (2011-12) and Visitor (2012-13) at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has lectured about genocide, violence, justice, and the aftermaths of genocide around the globe.  


General genocide web-sites with key links (both to other general sites and to sites with information about specific genocides; some of these sites also include on-line bibliographies, news reports, data banks, survivor memoirs, documentation, syllabi, warning alerts, and general information about genocide)

The Genocide Research Project, University of Memphis & Penn State University

Institute for the Study of Genocide

Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies

Centre for Comparative Genocide Studies, Macquarie University          

Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Shalom College

Yale Genocide Studies Program

Danish Center from Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, & Human Rights

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Genocide Factor

Center for Holocaust, Genocide & Peace Studies, University of Nevada, Reno

Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies

Cultural Survival

Early Warning, Prevention, and Criminalization

Minorities at Risk Project, University of Maryland          

Genocide Watch site        

Prevent Genocide

Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court

Campaign to End Genocide

Documentation Center of Cambodia

Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights


 Ph.D. Anthropology, Emory University, 1997.



2016      Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer. Durham: Duke University Press. 

2015      Genocide and Mass Violence: Memory, Symptom, Recovery. Cambridge University Press (Devon Hinton, co-editor).

2014      Colonial Genocide in Indigneous North America. Duke University Press (Andrew Woolford and Jeff Benvenuto, co-editors).

2014       Hidden Genocides: Power, Knowledge, Memory. Rutgers University Press. (Thomas LaPointe and Douglas Irvin, co-editors). 

2010       Transitional Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Realities after Genocide and Mass Violence. Rutgers University Press.

2009       Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation (Kevin O'Neill, co-editor). Duke University Press.

2005       Why Did They Kill?: Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide, University of California Press, 2005. [2008 Stirling Award for Best Published Work in Psychological Anthropology, Society for Psychological Anthropology]

2002       Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide, University of California Press.

2002       Genocide: An Anthropological Reader, Blackwell.

1999       Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions, Cambridge University Press.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

2013       Transitional Justice Time: Uncle San, Aunty Yan, and Outreach at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal. In Genocide and Mass Atrocities in Asia: Legacies and Prevention. Ed. Deborah Mayersen and Annie Pohlman. Pp. 86-98. New York: Routledge.

2013       The Paradox of Perpetration: A View from the Cambodian Genocide. In Human Rights at the Crossroads. Mark Goodale, ed., Pp. 153-162. New York: Oxford University Press. 

2012      Violence. In A Companion to Moral Anthropology. Ed. Didier Fassin. Pp. 500-18. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. 

2012       Critical Genocide Studies. Genocide Studies and Prevention 7(1): 4-15.

2012       Genocide and Effacement: A Conference on Cambodia, a Painting, and Ways of Knowing. Logos: A Journal of Modern Society & Culture 11(1): Winter. 

2008       Songs at the Edge of Democratic Kampuchea. In At the Edge of the Forest: Essays on Cambodia, Narrative and History Honoring David Chandler. Anne Hansen and Judy Ledgerwood, eds. Pp. 71-91. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Southeast Asian Program Press.

2006       Khmerness and the Thai Other: Violence, Discourse, and Symbolism in the 2003 Anti-Thai Riot in Cambodia. Journal of Southeast Asian Studies. 37 (3): 445-68.

2006       We Can't Let the Khmer Rouge Escape. Washington Post. August 4.

2006       Seeking Justice for the Killing Fields . International Herald Tribune. June 1.

2006       The Stare. Rutgers Magazine Spring.

2005       Genocide and Modernity. In A Companion to Psychological
Anthropology: Modernity and Psychocultural Change. Conerly Casey and Robert B. Edgerton, eds. Pp. 419-435. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

2005       Lessons from Killing Fields of Cambodia - 30 Years On. Christian Science Monitor. April 14.

2004       The Perpetrator, the Victim, and the Witness. Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, 16(1):137-153

2004       The Poetics of Genocidal Practice: Life Under the Khmer Rouge. In The Cultural Poetics of Violence Practice. Neil Whitehead, ed. Pp. 157-184. Santa Fe, NM: School of American Research.

2002       The Dark Side of Modernity: Toward an Anthropology of Genocide. In Annihilating Difference: The Anthropology of Genocide. Alex Hinton, editor. Berkeley: University of California Press.

2002       Anthropology and Genocide. In Genocide: An Anthropological Reader. Alex Hinton, editor. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

2001       Purity and Contamination in the Cambodian Genocide. In Cambodia emerges from the past: Eight Essays, Judy Ledgerwood, ed., Pp. 60-90. Dekalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press.

2001       Review of David Chandler's book, Voices from S-21: Terror and History in Pol Pot's Secret Poison. Holocaust and Genocide Studies 15 (3): 523-525.

2000       Under the Shade of Pol Pot's Umbrella: Myth and Mandala in the Cambodian Genocide.  In the Vision Thing: Myth, Politics, and Psyche in the Modern World.  Tom Singer, editor.  New York: Routledge.

1998       Genocidal Bricolage: A Reading of Human Liver-eating in Cambodia.  Yale University Genocide Studies Program Working Paper (GS 06): 16-38.

1998       A Head for an Eye: Revenge in the Cambodian Genocide. American Ethnologist 25 (3): 353-377.

1998       Why did you Kill? Anthropology, Genocide, and the Goldhagen Controversy.  Anthropology Today 14 (3):9-15.

1996       Agents of Death: Explaining the Cambodian Genocide in terms of Psychosocial Dissonance.  American Anthropologist 98(4): 818-831.

1993       Prolegomenon to a Processual Approach to the Emotions.  Ethos 21 (4): 417-451.


Associated Programs

Director, Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights
Department of Anthropology, Rutgers New Brunswick
Division of Global Affairs