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February 2021: From Empire to Nation-State: The Ottoman Armistice, Imagined Borders, and Displaced Populations (1918-1923)

Please register in advance for the webinars here.

You need just one registration to attend the two-day workshop. After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the webinar.

The First World War came to an end for the Ottoman Empire when the Armistice of Mudros was signed on October 30, 1918. While the Ottoman government formed by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) embarked upon a series of armed and political campaigns to save the Empire from collapse, Ottoman minorities such as Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and Arabs suffered from genocide and famine. It is well documented that the demographic engineering policies of CUP resulted in a significant decrease of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian communities in Anatolia, and a famine in Arab provinces of the empire killed thousands. Even though the wartime was equal to a “cataclysm” for Ottoman “minorities”, the beginning of the Armistice years remarked a new start, an opportunity for revival and rebirth. While the Armenian community leadership was organizing relief activities to save genocide survivors who were scattered throughout the Empire, they envisioned the establishment of a “United Armenia” with the support of the Allied Powers. Anatolian Romioi (Orthodox Greeks), Arabs, and Kurds, in a similar fashion, were motivated to declare independence to map their nation-states during a time when the world was living what has been referred to as the “Wilsonian moment.” This workshop will revisit and re-explore the Ottoman Armistice and the transition from empire to ethno-nation-state from hitherto neglected perspectives of Ottoman “minorities” through the lens of history, literature, and political science disciplines.


18 February 2021

11 – 11:10 AM   Opening Remarks

Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Michigan 

11:10 AM – 12:30 PM   Keynote Address 

“Making Sense of the End: Thoughts on Writing a History of the Armistice Period"
Ryan Gingeras, Naval Postgraduate School

1 – 3 PM   The Ottoman Armistice and the Displaced Populations

Chair: Ronald Grigor Suny, University of Michigan 
Commentator: Melanie Tanielian, University of Michigan

“Sex Work, Displacement, and Migration in Occupied Istanbul”
Daniel-Joseph Macarthur-Seal, British Institute at Ankara 

"From the Ottoman Empire to the German Republic: The Young Turk Quest to Find Refuge after the First World War"
Alp Yenen, Leiden University

“Revisiting the 1923 Bombardment of Corfu: The Untold Story of Armenian Refugees and Orphans”
Ari Şekeryan, University of Michigan

“At ‘Home’ Away from ‘Home’: The ex-Ottoman Armenian Refugees in Soviet Armenia”
Ayşenur Korkmaz, University of Amsterdam

19 February 2021

10 AM – 12 PM   Rethinking Post-WWI and Armistice Through the Lens of Literature and Art

Chair: Michael Pifer, University of Michigan
Commentator: William Stroebel, University of Michigan

“Legal and Affective Archives of Atrocity: The Afterlives of Genocide Tribunals in Occupied Istanbul”
Erdağ Göknar, Duke University

"Against Forgetting: Response and Responsibility for the Other in Osip Mandelstam’s Poetry"
Ararat Şekeryan, Columbia University

“‘This Grand Slaughter’: Art, Memory, and the First World War in Occupied Istanbul”
Gizem Tongo, British Institute at Ankara

12:30 – 2 PM   Roundtable Discussion

Moderator: Ari Şekeryan, University of Michigan