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Denial and Memory: 100 Years after the Armenian Genocide

Updated: Jul 16, 2021

Friday, November 6, 2015

Harris Hall 108 (Leopold Room)

1881 Sheridan Rd., Evanston

Denial of the Armenian Genocide has been a cornerstone of Turkish Foreign Policy despite the growing difficulty of such a position in light of historical research. The conference will discuss questions of memory, commemoration and the logic of denial to elucidate the motivations behind such a policy, and their implications for the descendants of people killed or displaced during this period. WWI, refugee and minority settlements, mass violence and genocide prevention will be main themes addressed by the participants.​ The keynote lecture will be delivered by Fatma Muge Gocek, Professor of Sociology at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and author of “Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Presence and Collective Violence against the Armenians, 1789-2009” that won the American Sociological Association’s Mary Douglas Prize for best book.


10 am – 12:30 pm, Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

  1. Mustafa Aksakal (Georgetown University), “The First Deniers”

  2. Rachel Goshgarian (Lafayette College), “Caught in Between Cultures, Experiences, Histories, Peoples and Governments: The Long Story of Armenian Architectural Heritage in Turkey in the Aftermath of 1915”

  3. Sossie Kasbarian (Lancaster University), “The Politics of Memory and Activism: The Armenian Diaspora Facing 2015”

  4. Kerem Öktem (University of Graz) “Contested Memory Regimes instead of Recognition: The Armenian Genocide 100 years on”


  1. Melanie Tanielian (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)

  2. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd (Northwestern University)

12:30 – 1:30 pm, Lunch break

1:30 – 2:30 pm, Keynote Lecture

  1. Fatma Müge Göçek (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor) “Denial of Violence: Ottoman Past, Turkish Present and Collective Violence against the Armenians”

2:30 – 3:00 pm, Break

3:00 – 4:00 pm, Roundtable Discussion

“Denial in Comparative Perspective: The Holocaust of European Jews, Holodomor in Ukraine, Ethnic Cleansing in Bosnia, and the Genocide of Ottoman Armenians”

  1. Benjamin Frommer (Northwestern University)

  2. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University)

  3. Edin Hajdarpasic (Loyola University)

  4. İpek Yosmaoğlu(Northwestern University)


  1. Keyman Center for Modern Turkish Studies at the Buffett Institute for Global Studies

  2. Nicholas D. Chabraja Center for Historical Studies

  3. History Department

  4. Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

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