ANN ARBOR, MICH., Feb. 24, 2011

On Monday, February 7th, guest lecturer for the Armenian Studies Program at the University of Michigan, Dr. Dikran Kaligian presented a public lecture outlining the events leading up to the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The lecture drew from his 2009 book, Armenian Organization and Ideology under Ottoman Rule, 1908-1914, published by Transaction Publishing. Kaligian argued that many genocide scholars refer to this particular period although ironically it is an understudied area.

The lecture provided an in depth analysis of the various actors, policies, and events that contributed to the 1915 genocide. Focusing on the relation between the Armenian Revolutionary Federation(ARF) and the Turkish Committee of Union in Progress(CUP) between 1908 and 1914, Kaligian mapped a timeline that included possible alternatives to the avenues that ARF and CUP pursued. The central question, as defined by Kaligian, was whether the ARF was loyal to the Ottoman constitution, and if so to what point. Kaligian determined that the ARF and other Armenian groups were in fact loyal to the 1908 constitution but, due to the failure of promised reforms, ended political cooperation with the CUP in 1912.Kaligian engaged and dispelled many commonly held beliefs of the period, including the assumption that the ARF and CUP were ideologically monolithic.

Dikran M. Kaligian received his Ph. D. in history from Boston College in 2003. He is past chairperson of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region and Managing Editor of the Armenian Review. His articles have been published in the Journal of Genocide Research, the Armenian Review, and in the books Late Ottoman Genocides: The Dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish Population and Extermination Policies and Armenian Constantinople.