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ASP Lecture. "'Protecting the Innocent': Humanitarian Child Transfer in the Aftermath of the Adana Massacres (1909)."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
5:00 AM
1636 International Institute, 1080 S. University

Melanie Tanielian, assistant professor of history, U-M. Co-sponsors: Department of History, CMENAS.

The massacre of Ottoman Armenians in the city of Adana and its surrounding districts amidst political upheavals in the empire not only resulted in 15,000 to 30,000 deaths, but also left a large
number of children orphaned. This lecture analyzes non-governmental attempts, and in particular the intervention of the female German Protestant missionaries, the Kaiserswerth
Deaconesses, at transferring orphans out of conflict zones and placing them into orphanages in Beirut and Smyrna. In the course of the lecture, Professor Tanielian will not only explore the various reactions of local, state and community officials, the experience of the children, the practical difficulties that circumscribed the efforts, but also link these non-governmental humanitarian efforts to larger debates of humanitarian narratives and practices in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Melanie Tanielian received her PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation, "The War of Famine: Everyday Life in Wartime Beirut and Mount Lebanon (1914-1918)," is a socio-economic study of daily life at the Lebanese homefront during the First World War, seen through the lens of famine, family, disease and medicine, as well as local, state, and international humanitarian relief.  Her research and teaching interests include the social and cultural history of WWI in the Middle East, the emergence of religious philanthropic societies and their work in times of conflict, the history of German missionaries, social Protestantism and modern humanitarianism, disease, medicine, and hospitals, the history Childhood and Youth. Her research has been supported by the Allan Sharlin Memorial Grant for Dissertation Research, the DAAD Graduate Fellowship, and the Sultan Fellowship from the Center of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Melanie has lived, studied and traveled extensively in the Middle East.

Co-sponsors: Department of History, CMENAS. Free and open to the public.