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2015 Dr. Berj. H. Haidostian Annual Distinguished Lecture

Problems and Challenges of Armenian Genocide Research

The Armenian genocide has been utilized and debated mostly for the purpose of defining the extermination that occurred between 1915-18. The historical roots of this event have been discussed for the purpose of understanding an event that occurred between 1915-18, a discrete episode in history. Taner Akçam sees this as a critical shortcoming of the field of Armenian Genocide Research.  In his talk, Professor Akçam challenged this historiography to develop an alternative understanding arguing that Genocide comprises not just a single event but rather a series of genocidal episodes that occurred over the longue durée.

Taner Akçam is a historian and sociologist who holds the Marianne Kaloosdian and Stephen and Marian Mugar Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University. He has written extensively on the Ottoman-Turkish Genocide of the Armenians in the early 20th century. His most well-known works are A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility (Metropolitan Books, 2006), andThe Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire, (Princeton University Press, 2012).