Venue: Akian Art Gallery, Paramaz Avedisian Building, American University of Armenia
Address: Baghramyan Ave., 40, Yerevan 0019, Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
About the Event
The panel will bring together three scholars from three different disciplines who focus on gendered consequences of genocide, dispersal, and denial. Lerna Ekmekcioglu will discuss her work on the Ottoman Turkish policies of transferring women and children from Armenian to Muslim contexts and the post-war Armenian policies in Constantinople towards retrieving the kidnapped women and their children born of rape. Following the trajectory of her great aunt Anush who was kidnapped during the genocide, Hourig Attarian will engage in an autobiographical arts-based inquiry of how the “storied lives and lived lives” intertwine and how we can look critically at inherited family narratives, with their fractured memories and silences. Melissa Bilal will turn our focus to the lullabies of Armenian grandmothers in Turkey and how they transmit the knowledge of the genocide and its silencing. Together, these papers will show how a gendered lens can shed new and critical light on the study of the Armenian genocide and the reconstitution of communities in its aftermath.
Hourig Attarian has obtained her PhD from the Faculty of Education, McGill University. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Education, Concordia University and a core member of the university’s internationally renowned Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS). Anchored in the blurred genre of life history and autobiographical inquiry, her work focuses on storying memory and identity through visual and narrative explorations.
Lerna Ekmekcioglu is McMillan-Stewart Associate Professor of History and Women and Gender Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.). In 2006 she published with Melissa Bilal a volume titled A Cry for Justice: Five Armenian Feminist Writers from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic (1862-1933) (in Turkish). Her first monograph, which is the story of Armenians who survived the genocide and stayed inside the new Turkey’s borders, is titled covering Armenia: Politics of Belonging in Post-Genocide Turkey, and will come out of Stanford University Press in late 2015.
Melissa Bilal is currently teaching in the History Department at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. She was a Mellon postdoctoral teaching fellow at Columbia University, Department of Music from 2013 to 2015. She holds a Ph.D. in Music from the University of Chicago. She received her BA and MA in Sociology at Boğaziçi University. Her dissertation was a historical and ethnographic study of the Armenian lullaby as a genre of intimacy and protest. Melissa is the co-author of the books A Cry for Justice: Five Armenian Feminist Writers from the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic (1862-1933) (in Turkish, with Lerna Ekmekçioğlu, 2006) and Gomidas Vartabed: Letters, Memoirs, Musicological Texts (in Turkish, with Burcu Yıldız, forthcoming 2015).
Language of the event: English