Alex Hinton

Alex Hinton


ahinton [at]



Office Location

Hill Hall 627

Alexander Hinton is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University. He is the author of over a dozen books including the award-winning ExternalWhy did they Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide(California, 2005). His most recent books are ExternalMan or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer (Duke, 2016) and ExternalThe Justice Facade: Trials of Transition in Cambodia (Oxford, 2018) read more

Courses Taught



Human Rights

Atrocity Crimes Prevention

Research Initiatives

Alexander Hinton is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University, Newark. He is the author of the award-winning Why Did They Kill? Cambodia in the Shadow of Genocide (California, 2005) and eleven edited or co-edited collections, Oxford Handbook of Transitional Justice (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2019), Rethinking Peace (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming in 2019), Colonial Genocide in Indigenous North America (Duke, 2015), Mass Violence: Memory, Symptom, and Response  (Cambridge, 2015), Hidden Genocide: 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 recently completed two book projects related to the Khmer Rouge tribunal. The first, Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer, was published by Duke University Press in 2016 and was a Finalist for the 2017 Raphael Lemkin Award; the second, The Justice Facade: Trials of Transition in Cambodia, came out with Oxford University Press in the Spring of 2018. He is also a co-organizer of the international “Rethinking Peace Studies” (2014-16), “Critical Transitional Justice” (2017-2019), and “Rethinking Prevention” (2016-2019) projects. He serves as an Academic Advisor to the Documentation Center of Cambodia, on the International Advisory Boards of a number of academic journals, as Vice-President of the Institute for the Study of Genocide, and as the editor of the Rutgers University Press Series “Genocide, Political Violence, Human Rights.”

            In 2009, the American Anthropological Association selected Hinton as the recipient of 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.” He was listed as one of Fifty Key Thinkers on the Holocaust and Genocide (Routledge, 2011) and is a past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (2011-13). From 2011-13, Professor Hinton was a Member/Visitor of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton from 2011-13. In March 2016, Professor Hinton served as an expert witness at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia. He has been invited around the globe to speak about genocide, human rights, and mass violence.


 Ph.D. Anthropology, Emory University, 1997.



2019      Rethinking Peace: Discourse, Memory, Translation, and Dialogue. New York: Rowman & Littlefield (Giorgio Shani and Jeremiah Alberg, co-editors).

2018       The Justice Facade: Trials of Transition in Cambodia. Oxford: Oxford University Press

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