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ASP Lecture. "A Predicament Beyond Rights: Becoming a Residual Armenian in Turkish Anatolia."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
4:00 AM
UMMA Multi-Purpose Room. The University of Michigan Museum of Art 525 South State Street, Ann Arbor.

Hakem al-Rustom, Manoogian Simone Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Michigan.

Out of approximately two million Ottoman Armenians living in 1914, only 77,433 officially remained as Turkish citizens in the formative years of the republic. In this presentation Hakem al-Rustom analyses the predicament of the residual Armenian population in Turkey as a process of denativization. A concept helps to broach gaps in the literature on nationalism, demographic engineering, and citizenship rights which focuses on Turkish state policies. As such, it accounts for other important forces that worked in tandem with Turkish nationalist policies and resulted in emptying Anatolia of Armenians. These include post-World War I international diplomacy, everyday tension between Armenians and Kurds in southeastern Anatolia, and Armenian diaspora institutions in France. At a wider level, this paper considers the experience of a population whose destruction was foundational to the formation of a nation-state. It therefore shifts the debate away from exclusion from citizenship rights to the historical exclusion from the wider state project.

Hakem al-Rustom is the 2012-13 Manoogian Simone Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow. He completed his PhD in social anthropology at the London School of Economics (LSE). His dissertation titled “Anatolian Fragments: Armenians Between Turkey and France," investigates the past of the Armenian population that remained in Anatolia after the signing of the Lausanne Treaty in 1923 and their subsequent migration to France in the 1970s. Hakem has taught social anthropology at the American University in Cairo and at LSE, and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York and Sciences Po in Paris.