James Waller

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James Edward Waller Jr. is the Cohen Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College located in Keene, New Hampshire. Professor Waller has a significant role in Keene State College's new baccalaureate program in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, which offers courses in Holocaust Studies and courses in genocide and comparative genocide. He has held fellowships with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies in Washington, D.C., and is an affiliated scholar at the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation.[1] Dr. Waller was previously a Professor of psychology at Whitworth University, in Spokane, Washington, and was the Edward B. Lindaman Chair from Fall 2003-2007.[2] Waller was the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Center for Holocaust Studies at the University of Vermont.[3]

Waller's book, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing, is a standard text[citation needed] for students of genocide throughout the United States. He is widely recognized[citation needed] for his work on intergroup relations and prejudice, and in 1996 developed a study program titled "Prejudice Across America." The program drew national media attention and was named by President Bill Clinton's Initiative on Race as one of America's "Promising Practices for Racial Reconciliation." Many of the experiences from the study program are chronicled in Dr. Waller's first book, Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism Across America; and in a second book, Prejudice Across America.[4]

In addition to three books (one of which has been released in a revised and updated second edition), Waller has published twenty-nine articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and contributed eighteen chapters in edited books. Waller's book on perpetrators of genocide, Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing (Oxford University Press, 2002), was praised by Publisher's Weekly for "clearly and effectively synthesizing a wide range of studies to develop an original and persuasive model of the process by which people can become evil."[citation needed] In addition to being used as a textbook in college and university courses around the world, Becoming Evil also was short-listed for the biennial Raphael Lemkin Award from the International Association of Genocide Scholars and was released in a revised and updated second edition in March 2007. Concepts from Becoming Evil have been the basis for an international best-selling novel (The Exception by Christian Jungersen) and a play being workshopped at UCLA. A Hungarian translation of Becoming Evil was scheduled for release in 2010.[5]


  • Face to Face: The Changing State of Racism Across America. (Perseus Books, 1998) ISBN 978-0-7382-0613-4
  • Prejudice Across America (University Press of Mississippi, 2000) ISBN 978-1-57806-313-0
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. (Oxford University Press 2002) 1st Edition.
  • Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing. (Oxford University Press 2007) 2nd Edition. ISBN 978-0-19-531456-4


  1. {{cite web|url=http://www.keene.edu/cchs/t_resources/profdevelopment_bios.cfm#1}}
  2. "Waller 2007 Lindman Lecture". April 4, 2007. Retrieved 2009-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Deliver Us from Evil: Genocide and the Christian World". Retrieved 2009-02-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. http://www.keene.edu/newsevents/default.cfm Type=NewsDetail&News_ID=2294
  5. http://www.keene.edu/cchs/t_resources/profdevelopment_bios.cfm