Skip to main content


The USC Dornsife 2020 Genocide Resistance Research Cluster aims to answer questions like the following: what factors enables people to oppose and resist genocide and mass violence? We seek to systematically address the issue of resistance to genocide, and to investigate why certain individuals, groups, and societies are able to prevent or actively resist mass atrocities.

We are addressing this question on the societal, group, and individual levels: why do some societies avoid the path to genocide? What kinds of groups slow down or stop genocidal developments? How do individuals successfully oppose a violent or genocidal mainstream?

As part of this project, we offer grants to support the research of USC Dornsife undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty as well as one international visiting Ph.D. student per year from a wide array of disciplines. The following abstracts detail the research done by the students and faculty funded by the Research Cluster.


2012 - 2013

USC Undergraduate Research

Nathaniel Hsieh and Josh Romanu, Philosophy, Politics and Law; Biological Sciences


USC Graduate Research

Hillary Epperson and Michelle Clark, Price School of Public Policy MPA

Hoest Heap of Birds, Sociology Ph.D.

Lacey Schauwecker, Comparative Literature Ph.D.


USC Faculty Funding

Macarena Gomez-Barris, Associate Professor, American Studies & Ethnicity, Sociology Department

Richard Dekmejian, Professor of Political Science and Director of the USC Institute of Armenian Studies

Ron Osborn, Adjunct Professor, International Relations


Visiting Ph.D. Fellow

Ian Zdanowicz, Political Sciences, University of Paris VIII


2011 - 2012

USC Undergraduate Research

Daniela Mercado, History

Daniella Newman, History

USC Graduate Research

Heathery Ashby, History

Max Felker-Kantor, History

Jennifer Reynolds-Kaye, Art History

Melody Shekari, Law

Visiting Ph.D. Fellow

Terri Donofrio, Communication, University of Maryland, College Park



USC Undergraduate Research:

Roza Petrosyan: Resistance of Armenian Women in the Armenian Genocide

Jeremy Schwartz: Resilience

Jasneet Aulakh: Sikh and Hindu Resistance in the 1984 Anti-Sikh Pogrom


USC Graduate Research:

Heather Ashby: Black Radical Activism Between the World Wars


Visiting Ph.D. Fellow:

Atje Gercama, Trinity College, Dublin: Women in Dutch Resistance During WWII