Melanie Tanielian is Associate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is a historian of war and society, currently working on a comparative history of psychiatric hospitals during World War I. The project, preliminary titled Transnational Lunacy: Madness, Society and Citizenship in a World at War (1914-1920), is funded by the American Council for Learned Society and the International and Area Studies Division of the National Endowment for Humanities. Her 2018 monograph, The Charity of War: Famine, Humanitarian Aid and World War I in the Middle East, tells how the Ottoman home front grappled with total war and how it sought to mitigate starvation and sickness through relief activities. Using Ottoman Beirut as a case study, the book examines the wartime activities of the city's municipal, philanthropic, and religious institutions and organizations—as well as international and state agencies—and reveals a dynamic politics of provisioning that was central to civilian experiences in the war, and to the Middle Eastern political landscape that emerged post-war.
Professor Tanielian has been a member of the Armenian Studies Executive Committee since 2012. As part of the committee, she has organized and co-organized several workshops, among them Teaching about Genocide: Approaches and Challenges and Rescue or Internment: Orphans of the Armenian Genocide. In 2015, together with Professor Kathryn Babayan, she curated the Francis W. Kelsey Exhibit: 'Now or Never': Collecting, Documenting, and Photographing the Aftermath of World War I in the Middle East to commemorate the centenary of the Armenian genocide.